Articles Tagged with “Ira Leesfield”

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About 60 people were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning and 22 were taken to the hospital after a possible leak Tuesday at a Miami condominium.

The possible leak was reported just before 5 a.m. at the Hemingway Villa Condominiums in West Miami-Dade, according to reporting from The Miami Herald. By 7 a.m. Tuesday, emergency responders were still searching for the leak. 

Additional details were not immediately available Tuesday. 

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Any pedestrian crossing the street on U.S. 1 or trekking down the sidewalk on Kendall Drive during rush hour knows to remain vigilant. Drivers in Miami have been known to text behind the wheel, speed, take traffic laws as suggestions and honk when unnecessary. The joke that Miami’s distracted drivers don’t know what they are doing is shared among coworkers, friends and grocery store clerks alike with a disapproving shake of their heads.

 It is only when there is a horrific and violent crash that cannot be undone that the chuckling stops and people are reminded of just how dangerous the roads can be. 

What happened? 

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People all over the world rely on public transportation to get them where they need to go every day. They go to work, school and are expected to come home safely. Sadly, that was not the case for at least 46 people last week in Marion County after a bus rollover crash killed eight farm workers on board and injured 38 others. 

According to a statement from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were 53 people aboard a bus just before 7 a.m. on May 14 when it had a sideswipe crash with a 2001 Ford Ranger private truck. The bus went off the road following the crash, through a fence and later rolled over. 

At least eight of the 38 passengers who were injured were reported to be in critical condition, according to the Miami Herald. The driver of the truck involved in the incident, 41-year-old Bryan Maclean Howard, of Ocala, was charged Tuesday with eight counts of driving under the influence and manslaughter. Details on the name of the transportation company that operated the bus in the crash were not immediately available.

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Man-on-e-bike-300x200A recent accident in Key Biscayne, Florida, involving a 12-year-old riding an e-bike and a traditional bicycle, tragically resulted in the death of the bicyclist, Megan Andrews, a career-educator and pillar in the community. This incident has once again brought the dangers of e-bikes, particularly when operated by younger riders, into sharp focus.

Key Biscayne’s local leaders, under massive public pressure, approved a temporary complete ban on e-bikes during an emergency meeting. The temporary ban will be in place for 60 days, the maximum length of time the Village could approve without running afoul of the law. The ban applies all roads of the Village of Key Biscayne except for Crandon Boulevard (the main and highest-traffic roadway of Key Biscayne) because it is owned and regulated by Miami-Dade County.

Electric bikes, or e-bikes, have become increasingly popular in the entire country, including Florida. However, when it comes to children using e-bikes and the dangers they bring, the legislator has dropped the ball miserably by failing to address crucial safety concerns:

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Leesfield & Partners recently represented a couple exposed to carbon monoxide while on vacation in a foreign country. Despite numerous legal obstacles, an eight-figure settlement was secured in less than nine months.  This is the latest of several CO exposure cases this firm has handled recently, an area of personal injury that requires creative legal strategizing and extensive legal experience.

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide poisoning arises when one breathes in carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas devoid of scent, flavor, and hue. Even minimal exposure can have various effects on an individual, leading to fatigue, headaches, nausea, and vomiting. Prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide over a substantial duration can give rise to grave symptoms and health hazards, such as loss of consciousness, permanent brain damage, and fatality.

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Leesfield & Partners reached two six-figure settlements in Legionnaires’ Disease cases against the same Resort. Ira Leesfield and Michael Shepherd argued that the resort was negligent in failing to properly maintain and sanitize its water systems, including decorative water features, which led to the spread of the bacteria and the infection of guests.

Our two clients, one from Florida and the other from Maryland, did not know each other and their stay did not overlap in time. Nonetheless, both were infected, contracted the disease and experienced a very similar onset of symptoms. First they began experiencing generalized body soreness, extreme fatigue, chills, difficulty breathing, and high fever. They went to the hospital within days of returning from the resort and were admitted with pneumonia and double pneumonia respectively. Infectious disease doctors consulted with both clients and upon further testings, a diagnosis of Legionnaires’ Disease was made.

Maryland and Florida’s Department of Health officials investigated the potential source of the infection and quickly zeroed in on a Florida resort as the potential source. Within days Health officials inspected the resort and found the Legionella bacteria in one of the many decorative water features of the resort.  Within ten months of being retained, Leesfield & Partners secured a six-figure settlement for each client.

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Last week, the driver of a scooter was fatally injured in an incident with a UPS driver in Miami Beach. The reports at the time have collectively made a point to say that the operator of the scooter was not wearing a helmet, almost impuning them. Florida drivers know full-well that helmets are not required to operate a motorcycle or a scooter/moped. Whether in the court of public opinion or court of law, not wearing a helmet is not a reason to accuse an innocent driver of wrongdoing, without knowing all facts surrounding an incident, including this latest fatal collision.

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Read Ira Leesfield and Justin Shapiro’s article published in Trial on ways to approach litigation involving e-scooters and sharing services.

Let us be very clear. In general, when a scooter operator -not wearing a helmet- is thrashed by another vehicle, the focus is not and never should be on the helmet. The one and only cause for the incident in that scenario is the negligent, often reckless driver of the at-fault vehicle, who expressed utter disregard for other motorists on the road. Defense attorneys attempt to take the focus away from the main thing, which is their client’s negligence. The strategy is to appeal to the general population’s biases against motorcycles, scooters and mopeds in general, which makes us look for a reason to blame the victim. For the past 45 years, Leesfield & Partners has litigated countless cases while representing families whose spouse, child or parent was killed by another vehicle, including commercial trucks.

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Partner Justin Shapiro has recently represented a family whose minor son (JD) was ran over by a distracted motorist as he was about to board a school bus. After a arduous legal battle, the family ultimately prevailed and settled against the at-fault driver and the school district for the school bus driver’s negligence.

Like every weekday, JD reported to the designated gathering area on the corner of the intersection just before 6:00 a.m. At approximately 6:10 a.m., the school bus arrived on the opposite corner of the intersection and stopped in the middle of the road. It was pitch dark outside as there were no street lights in the area. Despite the long line of buses situated “bumper-to-bumper” ahead of the bus, the driver initiated the flashing lights and signaled the children to cross the street and board the bus. There was no designated crosswalk from the gathering area to the corner where the bus stopped. Relying on the driver’s direction, JD and the other children began to cross the street.

school-bus-TOP-300x258At that time, a motorist traveling southbound in the direction of the group of children could not see the mobile traffic devices on the school bus due to the heavy traffic and numerous school buses in the northbound lane with their headlights on. Tragically and inevitably, the vehicle crashed into the child at a high rate of speed. JD was left unconscious, laying motionless on the ground. He was airlifted to the hospital, diagnosed with severe traumatic brain injuries from which he and his family will never recover.

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Since 1976, victims of negligent truck drivers have placed their trust in Leesfield & Partners’s trucking attorneys to fight for them. In 2020, Attorneys Thomas Scolaro, Adam Rose and Thomas Graham have recovered a combined $5million for two clients whose lives were impacted by reckless truck drivers. The experience and determination displayed in these two cases is what separates Leesfield & Partners, the longest-established personal injury firm in South Florida, from other firms with fewer trials under their belt.

leesfield-trucking-practice-1024x646Our history with trucking cases dates back to five decades ago when Ira H. Leesfield, founding partner, settled a $5.3 million case on behalf of a young woman who was catastrophically injured by a distracted Winn-Dixie truck driver. At the time, this was the largest settlement ever obtained in South Florida and the creative lawyering was the central feature in the Miami News. That settlement today (with inflation) would equate to around $13,000,000. Our past trucking cases include a $8,650,000 settlement on behalf of teenagers, $3,000,000 settlement in Orange County, $1,000,000 above the policy limits on behalf of an injured truck driver, $7,995,467 arbitration award, $5,350,000 settlement obtained on behalf of a bicyclist in Key West.

Since the 1980s, our trucking accident practice has grown exponentially. In 1983, Ira H. Leesfield, in coordination with the Association of Trial Lawyers of America National College of Advocacy, started a workshop for fellow attorneys on the topic of “Motor Vehicle Litigation” which included in large part how to litigate trucking cases in the face of life-altering damages. Over the years, with an immaculate track record, out-of-state attorneys referred their Florida-based trucking cases to our firm. Today, with well-over $300 million recovered on behalf of clients injured on the road – not just trucking accident victims – our clients know that our vigorous our aggressive representation will produce the best results, leaving zero dollar on the table.

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Josh was a broken man. Devastated from an unspeakable shooting tragedy that ravaged his family he was disillusioned from having his case turned down by Florida’s most prominent negligent security firm. When his personal family attorney tried to refer Josh to that other firm, he heard things like ‘impossible’, ‘a tragedy but not a case’, ‘likely to lose’, and then he heard ‘NO’. Those sentiments were terrible blows to Josh’s already gaping open-wounds. He felt completely and utterly hopeless.

Luckily, Josh’s well-intentioned family attorney did not take ‘no’ for an answer and reached out to Tom Scolaro having heard of his tenacity and success where others have said ‘no’. Mr. Scolaro understood that this case was previously investigated and vetted and ultimately declined by this top negligent security firm. Having litigated and tried many negligent security cases, he was not going to let another law firm’s decision affect his independent analysis. Mr. Scolaro saw a family man that was hurt and grieving for his loss and promised that he would take a fresh look at everything and turn over every stone. Despite the daunting facts, bad law and a team of expert witnesses that were sure to be hired by the biggest defense firms in the country, Mr. Scolaro had a hunch. On that hunch, the Leesfield & Partners firm took on the case, immediately filed the lawsuit and began intensive litigation which lasted over a year. Through discovery and depositions, Mr. Scolaro was able to prove that the assailant that killed his own family never should have been allowed to live on the premises in the first place. He successfully argued that the domestic nature of the crime, the cold-hard brutality and the assailant’s resolve to commit the heinous murder was ultimately irrelevant to the fact that he never should have been on the property in the first place. If he was not allowed to be on the property in the first place, he ultimately successfully proved that this incident would not have occurred.

ts-graphic-02Mr. Scolaro understood why the other firm turned down the case. It was a nearly impossible hill to climb but his passion for justice and helping people is all that he sees in front of him. The entire Leesfield & Partners team takes a personal approach to each case they are working on. Even though we do this day in and day out, it is the client’s only case and it is their most important case. We take that to heart and pursue each case as though it is the only one we have. It is a philosophy that has served the firm and its clients well over the last five decades.

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