Articles Posted in Premises Liability

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Services were held Saturday for three of the five teens killed two weeks ago in a Hialeah, Florida hotel room, when deadly carbon monoxide fumes seeped into their room. The Miami Herald reports that the five friends were celebrating a birthday at the Hotel Presidente, when they left their borrowed car running in the attached garage.

The Associated Press reported that friends of the deceased told police the car was having engine trouble so they likely left it running to avoid it not starting again. The door leading to the garage was slightly ajar, allowing the fumes to enter the hotel room, and the teens were found by a hotel maid the next day. She reported a strong smell of gasoline and saw that they were sprawled out on the floor, looking unconscious and not responding to her when she shouted ‘hello’.

In 2006, Florida law was changed to require installation of carbon monoxide detectors in new buildings. The Hotel Presidente (and other such older buildings) is exempt unless it undergoes major renovations. It is yet unclear whether a separate Hialeah ordinance was violated, which requires a higher level of carbon monoxide detection in older buildings.

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The 500-pound Bengal tiger that leapt over a fence at Miami’s Jungle Island four months ago, is back in the park. Following the incident, the tiger was taken to a sanctuary in Myrtle Beach and the big cat exhibit at Jungle Island was closed.

Leaping tiger.jpgAccording to a report in the Sun Sentinel, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC) investigated the escape and concluded that the tiger’s cage did not meet state requirements. The tiger leapt the fence to chase an ape that had sneaked out of its cage, due to human and mechanical error, according to the FFWCC.

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On the heels of yesterday’s report about West Palm Beach’s latest efforts to curb night club drunkenness and violence –

Roxy’s Pub, in the entertainment district of downtown WPB, was the site of a woman’s death early Monday morning. The Pub is on the same popular Clematis Street bound by a 2004 ordinance, which allows no more than two nightclubs or bars on each block. At the time the ordinance was established, Mayor Lois Frankel described the street as a haven of nighttime violence, which she attributed to a booming nightclub scene.

The 39-year-old woman reportedly fell to her death from the top deck of the Pub, two stories up, around 1:30 a.m. The incident is under investigation. The Sun Sentinel reported that a man who claimed to witness her death told WPEC-Ch. 12 that it appeared the woman intentionally jumped, following an argument with a man at the bar. Other witnesses say the woman lost her balance and accidentally fell.

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The city of West Palm Beach is attempting to ward off drunken violence in its entertainment district, with a nine-month ban of new nightclub applications downtown. The Sun Sentinel called it a preemptive strike on what the city believes could be “a binge of booze and violence in the entertainment district”. The Sentinel reports that the moratorium will run until September 2011 if passed in a second and final vote during an upcoming city commission meeting.

Sex-Drugs-Violence logoThe ban is an addition to the ordinance passed in 2004 that allowed no more than two nightclubs or bars on each block of Clematis Street, described at the time by Mayor Lois Frankel as a haven of nighttime violence, which she attributed to a booming nightclub scene. That ordinance did not address the rest of downtown West Palm Beach. Frankel recently suggested the ban on all new downtown applications while the city considers new zoning regulations. The Sentinel reported that City Commissioner Bill Moss said there has been difficulty with police calls in several south end nightclubs.

Fort Lauderdale, Davie and Miami Beach are among the South Florida cities that have seen fatal nightclub violence in recent months. One man was killed and five people were injured during two separate shooting incidents at night clubs in Fort Lauderdale and Davie, Florida. In Miami Beach, a pistol was slipped into a nightclub and used by a gang member to kill a young man thought to be the leader of a rival gang.

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broken Christmas tree ornament.jpgTragedy struck at a Hyatt Regency hotel in San Francisco, amidst a holiday spirit and festive photographs. A mother, along with her daughter and nanny, were taking pictures of the holiday decorations at the hotel when her 18-month old son apparently fell into a pool of water in a fountain, unnoticed, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

The hotel’s Christmas tree is positioned near the multi-level fountain, which had about 2.5 feet of water in its lower trough where the child was found, lifeless. Emergency crews resuscitated him but he later died from the injuries sustained in the accident, reports the Examiner. The family was not staying at the hotel, but passing through to admire the holiday decorations, while escaping the rain outside.

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Resort Torts logo FINAL.jpgA man has accepted an $8.5 million settlement for severe injuries resulting from falling down a hotel elevator shaft. According to a press release, Gary Meade was in the elevator of New York’s On The Ave hotel when it stopped between the 2nd and 3rd floors. Hotel staff pried open the doors and encouraged the people inside to jump out. When jumping, Meade slipped and fell down the shaft, landing on a steel buffer in the elevator pit, causing a gash in his groin area and injuries to his venous and lymphatic system. He underwent five surgeries and 12 hospitalizations to manage the injuries and subsequent infections.

Meade sued the hotel owner, citing negligence on the part of the hotel and its employees, who encouraged him to jump rather than calling emergency services to perform the evacuation, for failing to provide him with a ladder, and failing to secure the shaftway. Meade now suffers from permanent disfigurement and scarring, constant pain, psychological injury including post traumatic stress disorder, numbness in his left leg and foot and must elevate his left leg at all times to manage the resulting Lymphedema.

ResortTorts are cases of civil liability for negligent or criminal acts that arise out of a resort, vacation or recreational setting. Hazards can include premises liability such as trip and falls, violent crime/negligent security, defective premises design or layout, defective products, transportation negligence (plane crashes, car crashes, boating mishaps), medical malpractice provided by an innkeeper or cruise ship and many other types of dangers.

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smashed pumpkin.jpgLong Island shooting at nightclub Halloween Party – The Dream Night Club in the Hamptons hosted a Halloween party Friday night, when someone dressed like the bank robbers in the film “Dead Presidents” reportedly shot two men during a fight.

New York shooting at hotel Halloween Party – A man was shot at a hotel Halloween party Saturday night. The party reportedly ‘got out of control’ at a Residence Inn in Henrietta, NY, and a man was shot in the leg. The incident is still under investigation.

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stripper shoe.jpgA settlement has been reached between a West Palm Beach strip club and a man who was smacked in the eye by a stripper’s platform shoe with a metal heel. The stripper was walking on the bar when she spun around and her heel struck a patron, breaking bones around his eye and in his nose, resulting in permanent double vision and frequent dizziness.

The patron’s attorney said: “…we feel the $650,000 settlement goes to show that this was a serious case with serious injuries.”

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Resort Torts logo FINAL.jpgWhile still slogging through the lawsuit following its killer whale trainer’s death in February, SeaWorld saw two more deaths this week.

A 68-year-old British tourist died Monday on SeaWorld’s Roa’s Rapids ride, described by SeaWorld as “an awesome adventure through a roaring sea of high tides, swirling whirlies, and gushing geysers – all at speeds that leave ordinary river rides eating this one’s wake.” The man was pulled from the water around 11:00 am and died later at the hospital, just before noon. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said his death was related to natural causes, according to a report by CBS4.

In other news, the first killer whale born at SeaWorld, “Kalina,” has died at age 25 – the third SeaWorld orca to die this year. Another orca died in Orlando four months ago while giving birth, and SeaWorld San Diego watched one of their captive orcas die ‘mysteriously’ last month.