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Release Law

Florida’s Release Law Unenforceable in Florida Keys Diving Accident Case

Written by Spencer Aronfeld on . Posted in Personal Injury News and Safety Resources, Wrongful Death

Millions of thrill-seeking tourists visit Florida every year, and many of them engage in risky activities like jet skiing, parasailing, skydiving, scuba diving, and bouncing in these new giant trampoline warehouses called Sky Zones. Most of the owners and operators of those for-profit businesses require participants to sign waivers and releases promising not to sue them if the participants are injured or killed. But are those releases enforceable in Florida if you get hurt?

ARIZONA WOMAN DROWNS IN KEYS DIVING ACCIDENT

Release Law

On the morning of the dive that led to her death, Mrs. Diodato and her husband arrived late to a scheduled deep-water dive. Rather than have her companions wait for the Diodatos to read and sign a special release used for deep-water diving, the dive instructor, who was also sued for her wrongful death, relied on a release the couple had signed a few days before. That diving instructor had assumed the release would be valid for an entire year provided that a certain box

was checked on the back of the document. Even though the “valid-for-a-year” box was not checked and the release that was previously signed was not the kind that is used for deep-water diving, a Miami trial judge dismissed the Diodatos’ case.

This week, a Florida appellate court invalidated the release signed by that Arizona woman, Aviva Diodato, who drowned to death while she and her husband were scuba diving in the Florida Keys. Justice was served by the 3rd District Court of Appeal in the case of Diodato v. Islamorada Asset Management. I am sure

it is no coincidence that the brilliant Judge Leslie B. Rothenberg was on the panel that found the release signed by Mrs. Diodato was unenforceable. Read the 3rd DCA’s Opinion here.

Wrongful Death Case

Car Insurance and How It May Affect A Wrongful Death Case

Written by Spencer Aronfeld on . Posted in Wrongful Death

What happens when you get into a motorcycle accident in Florida with someone whose insurance has expired? It depends on why and how the insurance policy became inactive. If the policy lapsed because of non-payment and the insurance company has mailed written notice to the address listed in the policy at least 45 days before the policy lapses, there will be no coverage.

Florida Court Rules in Favor of Insurance Company in Wrongful Death Case

This week, Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal heard the wrongful death case of a Miami man who was killed while riding his motorcycle. He was struck by a car owned by Eduardo Olivera and driven with Olivera’s permission by Robert Zaid Alsina.

The family of the victim, Alfredo Rodriguez, sued Mr. Olivera and Mr. Alsina for their loved one’s wrongful death, only to discover that Mr. Olivera’s car insurance had become inactive about a month before the accident. Mr. Olivera thought he was insured with Security National Insurance Company. But following the tragic accident, when he was sued, his insurance company claimed his insurance policy had lapsed before the accident and therefore there was no money to pay the  Rodriguez family.

Wrongful Death Case

The Rodriguez family and Mr. Olivera entered into a contract called a “Coblentz Agreement” for $2.5 million. Coblentz Agreements are legal agreements made between parties in lawsuits when there are disputes about whether or not there is insurance to cover a certain event. In cases like this they agree to an amount of money as a judgment and then the plaintiff assumes the rights of Olivera to sue his own insurance company for bad faith in not paying the claim. This takes Olivera off the hook for any money he might owe the Rodriguezes and gives the Rodriguezes a chance to collect against the insurance company directly.

Sadly, in this case, there would have been insurance coverage . . . had the policy not been canceled for non-payment. The insurance company claims that the policy lapsed after it had sent notice to Mr. Olivera at the address he had provided in his insurance application: 5005 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida 33140. However, he had not provided an apartment number.

Hit By a Car Crossing the Street

Written by Spencer Aronfeld on . Posted in Car Accidents, Wrongful Death

One of the very first things we all learn as children is to hold hands when we cross the street.  As we get older and realize that crossing a street is a “survivable” experience, the need to hold hands and the fear both diminish.  For many of us, crossing busy streets remains a common part of our daily experience. It is such a commonplace that we tend to underestimate just how dangerous and potentially fatal crossing a busy street can be. Para leer en español haga clic aquí.

For example, according to Florida’s Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle Department, nearly 500 pedestrians are killed and 7,500 seriously injured each year in Florida alone.  And the number of traffic accidents increases every year, perhaps partly because of the increased number of people who are taking public transportation and then having to walk the rest of the way to work, school, or home.

Read this post about a Florida teen tragically killed as a pedestrian.

Hit by a car while crossing the street in Florida-call: 1-866-597-4529

For some reason, statistically men are almost twice as likely to be killed crossing Florida streets, especially men between the ages of 45-54.  I am 48 years old, which puts me both in the most dangerous age and gender categories. If I were to guess why more men my age die crossing Florida’s streets, I would assume it has something to do with my own over-estimation of how quickly I can run from point A to point B.  In other words, I simply no longer move the way I once did but have not quite come to realize it.