Articles Posted in Settlements

Earlier this month, the Florida State legislature approved a settlement with the family of a teen who was crushed when the branch of a city-owned tree fell on top of him. Thankfully, the boy lived, although he was permanently paralyzed as a result of the incident. According to one local news source, the family’s settlement was hung up for several months in the State Legislature while it was waiting to be approved.

In Florida, there is a limit on the amount of money a person can receive from a government entity in a personal injury lawsuit. However, the legislature does have the ability to grant an exception to this limit when all the parties agree that there should be a higher amount paid out to an individual.

In this case, the city council was on board with the settlement award. Indeed, the city immediately accepted responsibility for the accident, acknowledging that the tree had rotted out and that the city had received numerous complaints from neighbors but had not yet removed the tree.

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According to one news source, a settlement was recently reached between three of the largest tobacco companies in the country and the approximately 400 plaintiffs who sued them for smoking-related injuries and deaths. The settlement, which resolves only cases pending in a Florida federal court, is believed to be worth $100 million. Thousands of other cases filed against the tobacco companies in Florida state courts are not affected by the settlement. Those cases will proceed unabated.

The cases that settled in federal court were the outgrowth of a 2006 case decided by the Florida Supreme Court. While the court in that case agreed that the tobacco companies knowingly hid the dangers of smoking from the public, it also ruled that the plaintiffs who joined together in that suit could no longer proceed as a class. This meant that the plaintiffs were left to file individual cases in federal court.

To take effect, the settlement must still be approved by all of the plaintiffs with cases in federal court. After the settlement was announced, lawyers for the tobacco companies vowed to zealously fight the cases that are still pending in Florida state courts.

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A large settlement has been reached for a trucker who was involved in an accident approximately three years ago. According to a local Florida newspaper article, the accident occurred in a parking lot of a well-known ice cream establishment in 2011. Apparently, a truck driver slammed into the back of another truck that was parked in the lot. The truck that was struck was holding the driver  who was sleeping in the back of his truck. Unfortunately, the resting driver was thrown from his bunk and experienced severe injuries to his leg and back. These injuries resulted in the need for surgery.

The injured truck driver hired an attorney to sue the truck driver who hit him and the truck driver’s employer. The injured driver claimed that the driver and company did not follow appropriate safety standards when the trucker struck the resting truck. Instead of going to trial, the parties were able to reach a settlement of $750,000.

Reaching Settlements in Personal Injury Cases in Florida

After a serious vehicle accident, many people believe that the only way to recover anything for their injuries and other damages is through a lengthy trial. However, many cases do not ever reach that stage for multiple reasons. One reason is that there is not enough merit to the case, or the elements of negligence cannot be established. Another reason is because the parties are able to reach a settlement before heading to trial.

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