Articles Posted in Catastrophic Injury

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A family has filed a civil lawsuit in U.S. District Court after their son died while free diving at The Homestead, a resort in Utah.

Free diver.jpgThey say the resort and its business partner, The Crater, Inc., were not in compliance with Utah law that cites safety regulations for geothermal pools at resorts, because they did not employ a lifeguard, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

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SeaWorld Orlando and Walt Disney World are both being sued in personal injury lawsuits involving employees at the theme parks who were killed on the job. The monorail driver killed in a train collision in July 2009 is suing Walt Disney World; the husband of a killer-whale trainer drowned by an orca last February is suing SeaWorld.

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As the Orlando Sentinel reports, Florida law gives employers near-ironclad protection from lawsuits prompted by injuries and fatalities occurring on the job. Former Governor Jeb Bush and Florida’s business lobby had championed an overhaul of the state’s workers’ compensation laws seven years ago, but critics say the system is slanted too heavily in favor of businesses.

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THIS MUST STOP! It is time for a serious call to action. The rogue parasailing industry MUST be regulated before more catastrophic injuries occur.

PLEASE JOIN ME and sign the petition in support of The Amber May Law.

I have been calling for the regulation of the parasailing industry since the tragic death of Amber May White more than three years ago in Pompano Beach, Florida. Terrible accidents and serious personal injuries continue. The latest occurred just two days ago during the Labor Day weekend, and was reported by the St. Petersburg Times. On Sunday afternoon a 27-year-old Florida vacationer from Georgia and her fiancé saw their happy holiday weekend turn ugly when their parasailing adventure in Clearwater went dangerously awry. The tether between the woman’s harness and the towboat snapped, crashed her into the sand, dragged her along the beach, and slammed her into beach umbrellas and a volleyball court post. She was left with life-threatening injuries. Her fiancé landed in the water, sustaining minor injuries. As of last night, the woman was in a St. Petersburg Medical Center in critical condition.

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In yet another example of a rogue industry run wild, a parasailing catastrophe was averted only by sheer luck. On Monday June 7, 2010, the state of Florida witnessed two more injuries occurring from the unregulated parasailing industry. The Miami Herald reported that a father and his six-year-old daughter were bounced across the water into a sea wall when their parasail malfunctioned east of Miami’s Bayside Marketplace. They were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital for treatment of what fortunately were only bumps and bruises.

“Their injuries could have been much worse,” said Jorge Pino, spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Pino said that authorities are looking into whether the tow rope snapped or if a person from the boat cut it.

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This incident is all too familiar and only reinforces the urgent need to pass the Amber May Law, to bring some regulation to this rogue industry. As reported by The Today Show, fifteen-year-old Amber May White died while parasailing from head trauma along with internal injuries, sustained when she crashed into a building when the parasail on which she was riding snapped, while vacationing with her family in Pompano Beach, Florida. Amber May’s sister Crystal also suffered head injuries in this tragedy. John Elliott Leighton represented the family in the lawsuit against the parasail operators and the resort where Amber May was killed. Mr. Leighton has spearheaded legislative efforts to bring some regulation to this rogue industry. His efforts in Tallahassee have resulted in a bill which he and the family hope to make law this year.
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