After the governor denied a request from business leaders last week for blanket immunity for any claims involving people contracting COVID-19 on their property, the first wave of lawsuits has begun. The largest personal injury law firm in Florida is suing two nursing homes in Central Florida where there have been at least 34 deaths so far. Immunity would have protected any business faced with a lawsuit such as these. That would have allowed these nursing homes to get away with illegal activity, such as falsifying medical records regarding fever levels of patients and failure of the staff to wear N95 masks, causing risk of a massive outbreak. To date, 40% of Florida’s infections are in nursing homes. Are these Nursing Home Abuse lawsuits just an example of attorneys trying to profit off a crisis or are these lawsuits necessary to force the nursing home industry, and other industries, to comply with basic rules and standards designed to keep invitees safe while on their property? I would suggest the latter. As this Coronavirus crisis continues, many more such lawsuits will be filed, and many more businesses, not just nursing homes, will beg for help, claiming without protection from these lawsuits, they will go out of business. I would suggest that these lawsuits must be allowed to go forward. If a nursing home can show that it acted in good faith and attempted to comply with regulations, but an inevitable outbreak occurred anyway, then they will win their case. On the other hand, if they lied, hid evidence and failed to protect residents, nothing, other than the threat of even more lawsuits, will stop them. Operators usually own more than one facility, and even if one is shut down, they will just move the same method of operation to the next one. We need these lawsuits to protect society from the bad players in all industries, including the nursing home industry, home to our most vulnerable citizens, the elderly. In our society, personal injury lawsuits serve as the watchdog and enforcer of rules that the government is either unable or unwilling to enforce, even though they know that compliance with these rules is necessary to protect society. If you or someone you know has a claim against a nursing home, assisted living facility or any other business where injury occurred or an infectious disease was contracted, call the Law Office of Robert E. Gluck, P.A. Robert Gluck has been a civil litigation attorney for over thirty years and can assist you right away at firstname.lastname@example.org or 877-Gluck-law.
In an article published in The New York Times today, it is reported that business groups are attempting to get the Federal Government to limit all lawsuits brought by customers or employees who have claims arising out of contracting COVID-19. “Immunity” from lawsuits is traditionally limited to governmental agencies. This type of immunity is called Sovereign Immunity, and it shields all governmental agencies from lawsuits, due to their negligence, except under very limited circumstances. Furthermore, if a lawsuit against the local, state or federal government is allowed to go forward, there is a “cap” on what you can recover as damages. A blanket “immunity” from any lawsuits for all businesses in the entire country arising out of COVID-19 infections would be unfair, even though it sounds like a reasonable approach to preventing “financial ruin,” as companies begin to re-open after months of quarantine. As we all know, as the country opens back up, there are specific rules and regulations that businesses will be required to follow, such as maintaining social distancing, requiring limited occupancy, providing guests and employees PPE’s (personal protective equipment), cleaning and decontamination practices and procedures, etc. These practices will cost businesses money to comply. Some of them, such as restaurants, won’t even be able to comply with the severe social distancing requirements imposed on them, and many experts predict two out of every three restaurants in this country will not survive. In an effort to save our economy from a depression, we must resist the urge to give away some of the protections we all need for a civil society. All of the safety protocols we talk about businesses being mandated to comply with, such as those mentioned above, are meaningless without any real enforcement. In our society, if the government fails to act fast enough to protect people, private lawsuits will usually step in and impose a financial punishment on business for noncompliance. That is why a company that makes a dangerous product that kills someone, for example, won’t continue to make that dangerous product anymore, if they are hit with a huge wrongful death lawsuit by the family of the person killed due to the product defect. Traditionally, the threat of a lawsuit in America has kept big business in check and has forced them to comply with burdensome regulations. If a restaurant knows it can ignore the social distancing requirements because the government really cannot do much more than impose a small fine, or if a retail store fails to provide its employees masks and gloves when dealing with the public because they are expensive and difficult to find, then we are destined to have a significant increase in the infection rate. As a society, we expect the “rules of the road” to be followed by all businesses, but if they fail to do so and someone gets infected, or dies, shouldn’t the business be held accountable in some way for failing to comply with mandated safety precautions? If not, and without any enforceable rules, where are we as a society? I would suggest that before we rush to eliminate any responsibility of a business owner to protect its customers and employees, we need to consider striking a balance. That balance, I would suggest, would be to allow a lawsuit against a company to proceed for violations of mandated safety precautions if a Plaintiff can show unreasonable exposure. The Plaintiff would have the burden of proving that proper safety measures were not being followed and that this failure caused the person to contract the coronavirus. The basic legal requirement of “causation” would limit most lawsuits against a company anyway, even without the need for a blanket “immunity,” because in most cases it will be extremely difficult for a Plaintiff to prove where he or she contracted the coronavirus. Robert Gluck is a trial lawyer practicing for the past 32 years in South Florida, with offices in Naples, Florida and Plantation, Florida, specializing in Personal Injury Litigation, including premises liability claims against businesses whose negligence causes injury to others. If you have any questions regarding premises liability claims against a business or any other personal injury matter, just contact Mr. Gluck by visiting his website at www.robertgluck.com or emailing him right away at email@example.com.
Attorney Robert Gluck. The hard part for Plantation attorney Robert E. Gluck was getting the jury to believe. When he entered the courtroom, Gluck had to sell a difficult premise: A case teetering on his ability to convince the jury that his client's hip and ankle injuries, which went undiagnosed for years despite medical treatment, were the result of an old traffic collision on Interstate 95. Gluck didn't expect an easy day in court. Opposing counsel was more confident. Its strategy turned on disputing causation and introducing multiple other explanations for the injuries in the years since the accident. Its best settlement offer was $100,000 — not nearly enough to cover years of medical expenses. "I'm glad they forced me to go to the trial," Gluck said. "We were willing to settle for $250,000 right before trial started." As it turned out, a Miami jury sided with Gluck and awarded his client $1.2 million. Gluck represented Sasha Madrigal, who was involved in a highway crash in February 2012 with Mitchell's Lawn Maintenance employee Jose Ernesto Mendoza. Madrigal claimed she was driving southbound in the express lane on Interstate 95 when Mendoza crashed into the car in front of him. The impact caused Mendoza's 2005 Ford F-150 pickup truck to careen past the plastic barriers dividing the main lanes from the express lanes, causing a collision with Madrigal's 1999 Honda CRV, according to the complaint. "That's everyone's worst nightmare, driving along in the express lanes and someone comes right over the barriers in front of you," Gluck said. Doctors initially diagnosed herniated disks in Madrigal's lower back — a common injury after the violent impact of a traffic collision. For years, they assumed a connection between the back injury and hip and foot pain Madrigal suffered until a magnetic resonance imaging scan revealed a ruptured tendon in her ankle and a hip labral tear. Madrigal medical bills mounted, passing $200,000 after two corrective surgeries. In court, defense attorney Lynn Bagley-Nader, Miami staff counsel for insurer Travelers, rebutted with arguments that Madrigal had suffered injuries unrelated to the crash in the years that followed the accident. For instance, Bagley-Nader argued Madrigal had reinjured her left ankle at the gym and needed a second ankle surgery. At trial, Gluck argued his client had no prior complaints of back, hip or ankle pain before the accident and the injuries were the direct result of the crash, despite the delayed diagnosis. He believes a sympathetic plaintiff helped him clinch the victory. Madrigal, a young mother of two, had a 3-year-old and a newborn at the time of the accident. On the day of the crash, she was headed to pick up her son from day care after registering for college classes. In the time it took the case to get to trial before Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jose M. Rodriguez, her attorney said Madrigal juggled child care, college, three major surgeries and dozens of trigger-point injections as part of a pain-management regimen. The jury awarded $255,000 for past medical expense, $370,000 for future expenses and $575,000 for past and future pain and suffering, disability or physical impairment, disfigurement, mental anguish, inconvenience, aggravation of a disease or physical defect, or loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life. "It's so hard to get money from a jury these days, but when a client is working so hard to overcome her injuries, juries sometimes notice," Gluck said. "The jury saw it all. She kept going to school and trying to better herself for her kids. This client deserved this verdict … because of how hard she worked to overcome all the hardships." Original post Samantha Joseph, Daily Business ReviewSeptember 25, 2017
North Florida Facility Serves as Central Receiving Facility for both Baker Act and Marchman Act Cases – These two acts are similar but the differences are critical: Florida has two separate laws designed to help those in need of treatment and/or stabilization as a result of mental health or drug/alcohol addiction issues. They are very separate and distinct laws, but now, a new facility serving eight Northern Florida Counties, including the Tallahassee area (Leon County), known as the “Apalachee Center”, will serve as a reception center and receiving facility for both mental health patients under the Baker Act as well as continue to receive and house the only detox unit and receives all Marchman Act patients in the area. Although the new combined use for this facility joins both the Baker and Marchman Act “under one roof”, it is important to understand the differences. First of all, the Baker Act is a law that allows someone to be placed in a protective facility for up to 72 hours to stabilize a mental health issue only. The Baker act is NOT a vehicle to force someone into stabilization and/or treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction. The significant limitation of the Baker Act, unlike the Marchman Act, is that it only provides for a maximum of 72 hours of supervision in a locked facility. The Marchman Act, on the other hand, is a much more powerful law than the Baker Act because the Marchman Act provides first a period of 5 days of mandatory detoxification and/or stabilization to be followed, if recommended as being necessary, a 60-day period of court ordered treatment either in a residential facility or an outpatient setting, depending on the specific recommendations of the treating health care professional at the detox center. In addition, under the Marchman Act, it is possible to have the 60-day period of mandatory treatment extended up to an additional 90 days, if the respondent still is unable to appreciate the need for care as a result of their addiction and is still a risk to themselves or others as a result of their drug or alcohol addiction. Robert E. Gluck, a former drug court prosecutor in Miami-Dade County, now handles Marchman Act cases in all the counties covered by the Apalachee Center, to include cases in Franklin, Gadsen, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Taylor and Wakulla Counties. In addition, Robert Gluck has handled Marchman Act cases throughout Florida and has appeared in Hillsborough County, Pasco County, Lee County, Collier County, Palm Beach County, Broward County and Dade County just to name a few. It is important to hire a Marchman Act lawyer for drug or alcohol addiction issues and to NOT confuse the Marchman Act with the Baker Act because usually, there is not much a lawyer can do to assist a family under the Baker Act. Robert Gluck and his law firm looks forward to working with the new Apalachee Center, now opened as both a Baker Act and Marchman act centralized receiving facility. Mr. Gluck can help you or your loved ones with a Marchman Act filing anywhere in the State of Florida so just send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or if an emergency, call him on his cell phone any time at (954) 895-7455. Read the full story
A veteran of the US Army went to the VA Medical Center near his home in Virginia where he was the victim of a botched surgery to repair a completely blocked carotid artery. During the procedure, the patient suffered a massive stroke and a surgery that should have lasted under an hour, lasted five hours. He spent 60 days in the hospital just to regain his speech and balance but unfortunately lost 90% of the use of his arm permanently. (video) The artery was not blocked and the surgery was unnecessary. What makes matters worse, what contributed to the stroke, his lawyers believe, was that the patient was told to stop taking aspirin a week before the surgery. Taking aspirin may have prevented the stroke. Now, because of this case, the VA now requires veterans to make sure they are taking aspirin and anti-platelet therapy medicines when undergoing the same procedure. Sometimes it takes a million-dollar settlement and a lawsuit like this to get institutions to change their policies and procedures. One case at a time, change can occur that benefits everyone. It is a shame it took a situation like this to do it, but future surgical candidates at the VA will now be that much safer. If you or a loved one believes a hospital or medical provider did smoothing wrong or failed to do something they should have, you may have a medical malpractice claim. Make sure you hire the right lawyer to review your case. Robert Gluck has been handling these cases since the early 1990s and will be happy to discuss your case with you. Just call him at 877-GluckLaw or email him at email@example.com.
In May, the Code Council, building and fire code officials, and other partners will celebrate Building Safety Month. At that time, Floridians will be recognized as a national leader in the application of some of the most modern and stringent building codes in the country. Florida, always at risk for natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires and heavey thunderstorms, have one of the most effective building code systems in place. Throughout the decades lawmakers have gotten tougher and tougher to ensure that Florida has the highest standards to protect residents against the perils of south Florida weather. Florida codes protect residents by offering safe construction and strong buildings and also ensure that they get the latest innovations in energy efficiency, durability and sustainability too. Many Floridians understand the difference that modern building codes have made since Hurricane Andrew in 1992, especially when buildings and homes survived the deadly, back-to-back hurricanes of 2004 and 2005. If you have any storm damage that leaves you in a quandry with your homeowners insurance company, call Robert Gluck to assist you. Mr. Gluck can be reached at 1-877-GLUCK-LAW and at www.robertgluck.com.
Tens of thousands of chickens have been destroyed at a Tennessee chicken farm due to a bird flu outbreak, and 30 other farms within a six-mile radius have been quarantined. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said over 70,000 chickens were destroyed at the facility and will not enter the food system. The H7 avian influenza can be deadly to chickens and turkeys. "Bird flu" is a phrase for a variety of influenza viruses that spread among poultry. They can be very contagious and deadly among birds, but rarely spread to humans. That said, deadly human flu pandemics have been sparked by viruses that first emerged in birds, and health officials closely track what's killing poultry. Flu can spread from birds to humans when through the air, or when people touch a bird or an infected surface and then touch their eye, nose or mouth. The Tennessee breeder supplies the food company Tyson Foods Inc. The company said that it doesn't expect its chicken business to be disrupted. Wall Street reacted to the news as Tyson shares fell three percent and other chicken companies dropped sharply as well. "We're responding aggressively, and are working with state and federal officials to contain the virus," Tyson said in a company release. The company said it tests all of its flocks for the virus before they leave the farm "out of an abundance of caution." Results are known before the birds are processed, the company said, and animals are not used if bird flu is detected. Department of Agriculture is not identifying the farm where the chickens were destroyed, saying only that it is located in the state's Lincoln County, just west of Chattanooga. The USDA said Monday that it does not yet know what type of H7 bird flu is affecting the chickens at Tennessee, but will know within 48 hours. If you are the victim of defective food products, call Robert Gluck at 1-877-GLUCK-LAW.
When deputies moved in to capture a suspect, they found that this Florida criminal came with baggage. According to the Bradenton Herald, Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputies saw Gonzalo Pedraza, 33, walk into his sister’s home and they approached the home to execute a felony warrant for Pedraza’s arrest. His sister claiming that Pedraza wasn’t there. With the help of a K-9, deputies were able to find Pedraza, who had zipped himself inside a piece of luggage. After the suspect refused to exit his unique hiding spot, deputies unleashed the K-9, forcing him to comply, according to an affidavit obtained by the Bradenton Herald. For information on criminal law advice, call Robert Gluck at 1-877-GLUCK-LAW and check out his website at www.robertgluck.com.com
Former NFL defensive back Will Allen was given six years in prison for his role in a Ponzi scheme, a much harsher sentence than courtroom observers expected. Brian Amaral, a reporter for Law360, said Allen got twice the average sentence for fraud. Former banker Susan Daub also got six years, according to Law360. Both pleaded guilty last year. Allen, a cornerback, played 140 NFL games with the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins from 2001-11. He was the Giants' first-round pick in 2001. Allen (not to be confused with fellow former NFL defensive back Will Allen, who played mostly for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Pittsburgh Steelers from 2004-16) was charged with fraud in 2015. In this Ponzi scheme, Allen and Daub convinced investors to fund loans to professional athletes, but the loans were bogus or oversubscribed and they used the money for personal expenses and other business ventures, Law360 said. Amaral said some in the courtroom were stunned at the sentences of six years in prison, and he reported that even the U.S. attorney's office seemed surprised. The scheme cost investors about $17 million, Law360 said. "This was a huge fraud," U.S. District Judge William Young said, according to Law360. If you are the target of a criminal investigation, or have recently been arrested, call Robert Gluck at 1-877-GLUCK-LAW for a free consultation and learn about your criminal rights. You can also see Mr. Gluck's web page at www.robertgluck.com.
There’s an important topic to include in the discussion of how to help a drug addict. It is not widely used, but is becoming more common in the mental health and substance abuse counseling and program management work. The topic is the Marchman Act. It’s saved lives. Under the Marchman Act, named after the late Rev. Hal Marchman, of Daytona Beach, a single relative or guardian, or three friends, can petition the court to order an involuntary assessment of an alcoholic or drug abuser deemed in their good faith judgment to be in danger for their life and health. The person or persons can go to the County Courthouse and fill out the paperwork. The judge will review it, and if it’s found worthy, issue an order for an involuntary assessment. If the assessment shows the person to be in need of treatment to protect their life and health, they will be adjudicated to mandatory treatment which can last up to 60 days. The act applies both to juveniles and to adults. If the person violates the judge’s court order, they can be incarcerated. Virtually all persons comply with the judge's order. For more information on Marchman Act cases call attorney Robert Gluck at 1-877-GLUCK-LAW. You can also visit him on the internet at www.robertgluck.com/marchman-act.html.
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