Child Drowns in Septic Tank Near Jacksonville, Florida… Who is to Blame?

On October 22, 2017, a child’s body was found in an underground septic tank at Bruce Park in Jacksonville, Florida. A day earlier, three-year-old Amari Harley went missing from a family birthday party in the park, and it’s believed that the child fell into the underground tank and drowned. Such accidental death of a child is a tragedy for the family and raises several questions regarding liability, responsibility, and blame for a child wrongful death in Florida. Negligence Involved in Amari Harley’s Death While certainly an accident, certain evidence around Amari Harley’s death indicates that it was preventable. In January of 2017, a Jacksonville resident filed a complaint with the city that the septic tank where Amari was drowned was uncovered. The City of Jacksonville took action at that time, but within a month of those repairs had to re-secure the same septic tank cover after it failed a routine inspection. In September, the septic tank and the heavy, rubber covering that enclosed the tank passed inspection, but just days before Amari’s death a man claims he nearly fell into the uncovered septic tank and planned to file a complaint. The same resident says the only covering for the underground septic tank at the time of Amari Harley’s death was made of a lightweight plastic. After these earlier complaints, the City of Jacksonville, which owns Bruce Park, appeared to take limited action and provided mediocre solutions to an ongoing problem with this underground septic tank. In the wake of Amari’s death, these solutions seem inadequate and even negligent. So, is the City of Jacksonville to blame for the child’s...

Lawsuit Filed After Wrongful Death of a Young Boy at a Rotating Restaurant

The tragic death of a child can leave parents feeling helpless with grief or, alternatively, incredibly angry. Often, legal action provides a means to direct these intense emotions into effective action. Every wrongful death attorney understands that these claims do not come close to filling the void left by a loved one, but they do provide a means for surviving parents to become more than victims. Such is the case for the family of five-year-old Charlie Holt, who died in a rotating restaurant in Atlanta. What Happened to Charlie Holt? On April 14, 2017, Charlie and his parents, Rebecca and Michael were dining at the Westin Plaza’s rotating restaurant. The family was on vacation from Charlotte, North Carolina, and were enjoying a dinner out at the Sun Dial restaurant when catastrophe struck. According to the police report of the incident, Charlie wandered away from his parents during dinner. Unsupervised, Charlie somehow trapped his head between two tables, where it was crushed as the interior of the restaurant rotated. The family disagrees with the facts of this report, and in their recent lawsuit claim that throughout the meal the family utilized a walkway between tables to go to and from the bathroom. On the tragic occasion that Charlie was trapped, there was stationary wall too close to one of the moving booths. Charlie was unable to see the wall from his lower vantage point and was unable to escape the approaching wall before his skull was crushed between the two. Following these events, the Westin shut down the Sun Dial restaurant for an extensive period of time, but it was...

The Legal Rights of a Family Member Following a Child Death at Day Care

It is every parent’s worst nightmare to receive news that a child was seriously injured or killed, and the death of any baby, toddler, or young adult is undoubtedly tragic. However, on August 17, 2017, the family of a three-year-old in Orlando received news of their son’s death by a particularly heartbreaking cause. The young child was locked inside a day care center’s van for a number of hours and during the debilitating heat of summer in central Florida. When staff located the child hours later, it was too late, and Myles Hill was pronounced dead by paramedics who responded at the scene. Sadly, Myles wasn’t the only three-year-old to die in a day care’s hot van in Florida this year. Later in August in Pensacola, a three-year-old girl was found inside a day care’s van and rushed to the hospital after hours locked in the heat. After these devastating incidents, it is common for family members to feel like helpless victims, but doesn’t have to be the response. Legal recourse after a child death at daycare is not only available but also handled by some of the top personal injury lawyers in Florida. Who Is Responsible? The first question a Florida personal injury lawyer will consider after the death of a child at day care or other third-party care provider is who was responsible for the care of the child when the death occurred. Typically, it is more than one person or entity that made commitments to care for the child in the parents’ absence, and often, these individuals and entities are the parties legally responsible for the...

Children Injury Lawyers: Long Term Effects of a Torn A.C.L Injury

My son Nory loves to play soccer. Every day he practices and plays at his high school, on the weekends at a park in Coconut Grove- and much to the dismay of his mother- throughout our house. At times he seems to have a soccer ball attached to his foot. But as a father and a lawyer who focuses on representing injured children; I worry about him getting hurt while playing. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), fall injuries are the most common types of children’s injuries in our country. Fall down accidents and injuries occur when a child slips and falls or trips and falls and sustains a serious injury. Every day over 8,000 children aged 0-19 are treated for fall down injuries in U.S. emergency rooms- this translates to nearly 3 million children a year. As children’s injury lawyers in Miami, we believe that most fall down injuries can be prevented- and parents, teachers, coaches, and supervisors have a key role in protecting children and avoiding injuries.   Common Injuries From “Fall Down” Accidents The most common children’s injury from a fall down accident is a torn anterior cruciate ligament or A.C.L. These injuries can especially occur when kids are playing soccer either at organized games and practices at schools or just pick up games at the local park. An A.C.L. injury is debilitating and requires an orthopedic surgeon to evaluate and often operate to repair them. If surgery is required, these kids will miss a considerable amount of time from school and the rest of the season. In fact, a paper, soon to be...

Can I Get Sued For A Child Injury If They Trespass on My Property?

The house I grew up in is located in Wichita, Kansas. In the 1970s, when I lived there, It was a large house, on a large piece of land, surrounded by other large houses on large pieces of land. Today, it abuts a freeway that cuts through Wichita; and virtually every surrounding house is gone. The home was built and owned by one of the founders of Wichita’s newspapers and featured a lot of very unusual architectural and designs. As a kid, it was a wonderland. It had a large fort for me to play in and a full sized dollhouse for my sister. And the backyard had an array of professional quality merry go rounds, horizontal monkey bars and still rings that were probably designed, built and installed in the 1950s. And since this was Wichita in the early 1970s, we would often look out our windows and find complete strangers in our backyard swinging and playing on these contraptions. Today, I am a personal injury lawyer practicing in Miami specializing in child injury cases– and I often think about just how dangerous our little playground was, not just for those who trespassed into our backyard, by simply opening the unlocked fence, but for my parents who could have been easily sued if someone ever got hurt (nobody was hurt as far as I remember) under the doctrine of Attractive Nuisance. Am I Responsible For A Child’s Injury on My Property if They Trespassed? According to Florida statute §768.075 property owners in Florida- generally, do not have a duty to warn undiscovered trespassers of dangers on their property....

The Dangers of Child Trampoline Injuries

When I was a kid I used to love jumping on trampolines. And for a while our son, Nory, while he was in middle school, would spend hours and hours in our backyard- jumping away. I knew back then, that trampolines could be dangerous for adults- but never truly appreciated just how dangerous they are–especially for children.   According to data released by the Cleveland Clinic from 2002 to 2011, trampoline injuries contributed to more than 1 million ER visits in the United States alone. And as the weather is changing more parents will look for indoor activities to occupy their children- such as trampoline parks which are opening around the country. I fear that this will only increase the number of trampolines related children’s injuries. As a lawyer who represents both children and adults in personal injury cases- I am eager to report that expert pediatricians from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have agreed that trampolines are too dangerous and inappropriate for use by children, and should only be used under supervised athletic training like diving or gymnastics. Trampoline injuries include broken and fractured bones, head, neck and spinal injuries and permanent traumatic brain injuries. Small children are at the biggest risk- 14 times more likely than bigger children- especially when sharing a trampoline with other kids who may be jumping at the same time. This is due in part of the soft nature of the bones of growing children which can easily break and can cause permanent growth issues which might lead to deformities and painful complicated surgeries as they grow older. Trampoline Safety Rules One...
Facebook IconYouTube IconTwitter IconLinkedinLinkedin