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Posts made in July, 2013

Insurance Companies Often Add Insult To Injury Of Child Sexual Abuse Victims

Posted by on Jul 24, 2013 in Child Sexual Abuse

Insurance Companies  Often Add Insult To Injury Of Child Sexual Abuse Victims

I saw a piece in the Kansas City Business Journal regarding child sexual abuse cases that I thought might be informative for anyone considering bringing a claim against an institutional defendant for child sexual abuse. Institutional defendants is a term I use to describe organizations who provide services to children, and who are supposed to screen, background check, and supervise the adults they put in contact with those children. The Business Journal article chronicled efforts by Chicago Insurance Co. to avoid having to provide liability insurance coverage to the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City for tens of millions of dollars in settlements the Diocese agreed to pay as a result of rampant sexual abuse committed by Diocese priests. According to the story, Chicago Ins. is using a tactic often utilized by insurance companies here in Florida. In cases involving sexual abuse, insurance companies often try to avoid having to pay victims based upon arguments that the sexual abuse injuries are not “personal injuries” under the language of the insurance policy, or that claims are excluded as “assaults and batteries.” Child sexual abuse victims need to understand that they are often going to face two major battles on the way to trying to win the war of recovering compensation. The first battle will be proving that the abuse happened, and how and why it happened. The second (and perhaps more difficult) battle is figuring out how to actually recover damages. Unfortunately, these battles often leave child sexual abuse victims feeling even more violated. This is a crying shame (oftentimes, literally.) If you have questions regarding a Florida child sexual abuse case, call Winter Park personal injury attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at...

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Could Texas Roller Coaster Tragedy Happen At A Florida Theme Park?

Posted by on Jul 22, 2013 in Theme Park Accidents, Uncategorized

Could Texas Roller Coaster Tragedy Happen At A Florida Theme Park?

A Texas mother was tragically killed last Friday night when she fell over 150 feet from the Texas Giant roller coaster at the Six Flags Over Texas amusement park. As a Florida theme park accident attorney I cannot help but wonder, “Could this kind of thing happen here in one of Central Florida’s theme parks?” Unfortunately, I think the answer is, “Yes.” Eyewitnesses told television reports that the victim simply flew out of her seat during the roller coaster’s first turn. Apparently, one witness told the Dallas Morning News that she overheard the victim complaining to a ride operator before her car left the loading zone that her restraint didn’t feel like it was holding her correctly. Reportedly, the ride attendant brushed the lady off, and assured her that everything was going to be fine. Obviously, everything was not fine. As amusement ride expert, Ken Martin, points out in this video, there is no national safety standard or regulation when it comes to amusement rides At least in Texas the state’s Department of Insurance inspects rides for safety. In Florida, our largest theme parks are exempt from inspection rules. No state officials are allowed to inspect the rides at Walt Disney World or Universal Studios Florida. It goes without saying that no ride like a roller coaster should be allowed to proceed if there is any doubt that a ride restraint is working properly. I would only have taken the ride attendant a moment to walk over and address the victim’s concern. Because this simple action was not taken, a family is grieving in Texas. If you have questions regarding a Florida theme park accident, please call Winter Park wrongful death attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at...

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Truck Under-Ride Accident Study Highlights Importance Of Crashworthiness

Posted by on Jul 3, 2013 in Motor vehicle accidents

Truck Under-Ride Accident Study Highlights Importance Of Crashworthiness

I saw an interesting piece on local television station WFTV that I thought might be interesting to share. The story had to do with a couple of recent tragic Central Florida road accident deaths that happened after cars crashed into the rear-end of semi tractor trailers. In each tragic accident the cars did what is called an “under-ride” – a situation where the car actually drives underneath the rear load of the truck. This typically results in catastrophic injuries (or death): Under-ride accidents are an example of a concept known as crashworthiness. Crashworthiness describes the ability of a vehicle to withstand a crash, as well as to avoid causing additional or worse injuries to people involved in a crash. In the case of semi-tractor trailers, it is understood that the trailers will from time-to-time be involved in rear-end accidents. It is also known that without some kind of under-ride guarding, occupants of cars could easily be decapitated. As a result, tractor trailers are expected to have a functional under-ride guard.  The guard obviously won’t keep a collision from happening, but it can keep the injuries from becoming catastrophic. As is evidenced by these recent accidents, there is some concern that current under-ride guards may be insufficient or inadequate. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is currently studying this issue. If you have any questions about crashworthiness, or a Florida traffic accident, generally, please call Winter Park truck accident attorneys Kim Cullen and Robert Hemphill at...

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