Articles Tagged with “Resort Torts”

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The family of a 76-year-old Kentucky man was awarded over $2 million this month after his death from a burning incident in a motel shower, according to news outlets.

The incident happened in 2021 while the man was on a business trip. When he got in the shower, hot water estimated in the lawsuit to be 150 degrees Fahrenheit scalded him. The man fell and was unable to get up until coworkers who heard him screaming rushed into the bathroom to help. The man had third-degree burns following the incident and died seven months later after spending most of his time in and out of hospitals. Third-degree burns affect the deeper layers of the skin and burn down to the fatty tissue. They require immediate medical attention. 

The lawsuit filed on behalf of the grieving family did not specify what caused the water to come out at 150 degrees. A judgment filed earlier this month stated that the hotel failed to properly inspect and maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition. 

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Leesfield & Partners reached two six-figure settlements in Legionnaires’ Disease cases against the same Resort. Ira Leesfield and attorneys with the firm 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 testing, 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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-Miami, FL – Ira Leesfield, a national leader in resort injuries recoveries and Chairman of the American Association for Justice Resort Torts Litigation Group, issued precautions to hotel guests and travelers– “Check out safety protocols online before you book or arrive.”  The Miami-based law firm of Leesfield & Partners, P.A. has represented families and estates in numerous carbon monoxide cases in hotels and public accommodations, resulting from improper ventilation and equipment failure, against resorts in Florida, the Bahamas and Caribbean, including gas leaks and injuries from Legionnaire’s disease. Leesfield recovered a multi-million dollar result for the Schulz family in a gas explosion case at a Caribbean resort.

Clip_resize“We now have pending serious cases from families impacted by Legionnaire’s disease because of negligent maintenance at the resorts, which accompany fatalities from carbon monoxide and gas poisoning,” says Ira Leesfield, Chair of the AAJ Resort Tort Litigation Group. Leesfield & Partners has a 46-year history of representing injured travelers from Europe and throughout the United States for resort and cruise ship based injuries. The firm serves as co-counsel to numerous out-of-state law firms in serious personal injury cases.

Ira Leesfield is Founder and Managing Partner of Leesfield & Partners with offices in Miami, Key West/Monroe County and Central Florida/Orlando. He is board certified by the National Board of Trial Advocates, focusing his practice on cases involving serious personal injury, wrongful death, resort torts, cruise ship and maritime litigation, motor vehicle accidents, product and premises liability, aviation, negligent security and medical malpractice. He served as President of the Florida Justice Association and The Melvin Belli Society. With more than 40 years of trial experience, he has advanced new practice areas and has been recognized as America’s leading advocate for the victims of resort torts.

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Disney Century Pop Resort.jpgLast Sunday, 13-year-old Anthony Johnson was rescued by his family from drowning in a Disney Resort pool near Orlando, Florida. Yesterday, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office announced that Anthony had not survived and had been pronounced dead two days later.

Anthony, from Springfield, Missouri, was spending spring break vacation with his family in Central Florida. On Sunday evening, Anthony and friends were playing in the pool of Disney’s Pop Century Resort. Moments later, Anthony was found by his cousin at the bottom of the pool, in just 4 feet of water. Anthony’s father performed CPR until paramedics arrived on scene and took over the resuscitation efforts.

It is unclear at this time what may have cause Anthony to drown. Local news ABC15 reported that there were no lifeguards on duty at the time of the incident and signs “swim at your own risk” were posted. The Sheriff’s office investigation has just begun and could reveal some important elements of answers to explain the family who just lost their young son what may have caused him to drown.

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Ira Leesfield pushes for national attention as he appeared on Nancy Grace.
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Family of 11-year old girl who died by electrocution at Orange Lake Resorts’ mini-golf course seeks $27 million in damages

MIAMI – August, 2012 – In the wake of the death of 11-year-old girl, Ashton Jojo, Florida-based trial law firm Leesfield & Partners has filed suit against Orange Lake Country Club. In June, Ashton was retrieving a golf ball from a pond at Orange Lake Resorts’ mini-golf course when we she was electrocuted and died.

The wrongful death claim was filed in Orange County, Florida, and is seeking $27 Million in damages. Under Florida’s Wrongful Death Act, these damages include the mental pain and suffering of Ashton’s parents, the loss of Ashton’s companionship, medical expenses, funeral costs, etc. The suit states that upon being electrocuted by the highly energized water in the pond, Ashton was unable to move and collapsed in the energized water, thus suffering continuous electrocution.

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On Sunday March 18, 2012, Alanna Demella, 26, from Medford, Massachusetts, was tragically killed while on vacation in Ft. Lauderdale when an out-of-control vehicle traveling on a nearby roadway, slammed through a fence and crashed into the Riverside Hotel’s cabana building where Alanna was changing at the time. She was seven months pregnant and her husband was just feet away when the awful collision destroyed two support pillars and a wall of the cabana, taking the lives of the young woman and her unborn son.

Clip_s9_resize.jpgWhile at first blush this horrific resort-related death seems like a freak accident and the unfortunate luck of being at the wrong place at the wrong time, the causes of the accident certainly are not yet fully established. From a Personal Injury/Wrongful Death lawyers standpoint, the investigation as to the causative factors is much wider than just looking at the fault of the driver and her negligent operation of the vehicle. As is often the case in Florida, people carry minimal automobile insurance or sometimes none at all. Even someone with full coverage does not likely have enough in policy limits to cover the tremendous damages that this case would entail. Therefore for the Personal Injury/Wrongful Death lawyer, it is crucial to act as quickly as possible to preserve the scene and gather evidence than may no longer exist if left in the hands of nature or potential defendants. There may be other responsible parties that could have prevented this foreseeable incident. For example if there were prior crashes in the area or if the building structure was unsafe and building codes, permits and standards were violated. That is why it is of the utmost importance for the grieving family to act promptly in retaining counsel who specializes in these types of cases. Especially where the victim’s relatives are from out of state. This will allow for the family to put the work in the lawyer’s hands while they tend to the grieving process.

Leesfield & Partners is one of the leading resort tort law firms in Florida. Our Resort Tort attorneys have helped countless out-of-state clients who were victims of resort-related incidents similar to the ones the Demella family is now sadly involved in. While Florida in general, and South Florida in particular, is a very popular destination for tourists, incidents do occur with frequency. Consequently, Ira Leesfield helped creating and currently serves as Chairman of the Resort Tort Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice (AAJ).

The first thing that should be done immediately in a case like this is an inspection of the resort property, impact area and vehicle. At Leesfield & Partners, our team of lawyers, investigators and experts are on call seven days a week. We will go to the scene to take photographs and canvas the area for possible witnesses in order to take statements. We will also act quick to contact law enforcement and other investigating agencies to obtain and exchange information. A scene inspection must be conducted with an accident reconstruction expert to establish the speed and direction which the driver was traveling when she collided with the fence, and then the pillars. Properly reconstructing the accident and understanding the facts, can lead to other viable theories of causation.

Clip12_resize.jpgAnother issue that must be investigated locally is whether the Riverside Hotel was in compliance with the Florida Building Code and whether the cabanas, as built, had been inspected and approved by the Division of Professions Building Code Administrators and Inspectors Board. A full report of prior investigations and reports must be obtained to make sure that the construction of the cabanas were in fact legal and compliant with the Florida Building Code. A building code expert must be hired to not only review the findings of those reports, but to establish whether one or multiple violations existed which may have contributed to the destruction of the two pillars that held up the hotel’s cabana building. One other important area that must be looked into is whether the proximity of the cabana building to the roadway played a part in the cause and severity of the crash and whether the cabana building’s location was in compliance with the many building code set back rules and regulations Continue reading

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