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Earlier this month in Jacksonville, a 21-year-old man was driving with two passengers when his vehicle was struck by an AMTRAK train when he attempted to cross a set of railroad tracks while the gate-arms were down. According to one local news source, the accident occurred at around 11 in the morning in the Riverside area of Jacksonville.

Evidently, the young man attempted to cross the tracks while the railroad gate arms were down, but he misjudged the amount of time he would have to cross the tracks. As a result, the train clipped the car as it was crossing the tracks, cutting it in two.

The driver suffered only minor injuries, and the front-seat passenger suffered road-rash and other minor injuries. Both men were released from the hospital the same day. The rear-seat passenger was ejected from the split-in-half vehicle and was taken to the hospital with a cracked vertebrae. She is currently listed in fair condition and is expected to make a full recovery.

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Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of West Virginia decided an interesting case that may influence the way Florida courts interpret a pressing legal issue in the State. In the case of Tug Valley Pharmacy, LLC v. All Plaintiffs Below, a group of 29 plaintiffs banded together to sue three pharmacists and one physician, alleging that the medication they received from the defendants led them to become addicted to and abuse controlled substances.

The Case at Trial

The group of plaintiffs claimed that the defendants provided them with prescriptions for certain medications, namely oxycodone, xanax, and Lortab, which furthered their addictions and ultimately led them into criminal behavior, including possession, distribution, fraud, misrepresentation, and doctor-shopping. Most of the plaintiffs admitted to using prescription drugs recreationally prior to receiving the prescription from the defendant doctors.

Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that the defendants were aware of and perpetuated the “pill mill” activities of medical providers, such as refilling prescriptions too early, filling prescriptions for large amounts of medication, providing contradicting medication to the same patient, and providing medications that are known to work together to provide a “better high.”

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Earlier this month, the Texas Supreme Court heard a case about an accident involving a government employee who was allegedly operating a government vehicle while intoxicated. The court determined that, since the plaintiff failed to name the driver of the car at the outset of the lawsuit, he was then precluded from later asking the court to name the driver as an additional defendant. This is of interest to the Florida community because the specific legal doctrines that the court applied also apply here in Florida.

In the case of Molina v. Alvarado, Alvarado was injured when Molina, a government employee, struck Alvarado while operating a city-owned vehicle while allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol. Alvarado filed suit against the City, alleging that Molina was acting as a city employee when the accident occurred and that the city should be held liable under the doctrine of respondeat superior (a legal doctrine that allows accident victims to hold an employer liable for the negligent actions of an employee).

In turn, the City asked the court to dismiss the suit against it, based on the City’s sovereign immunity. The City claimed that nothing in Alvarado’s pleadings suggested that Molina was acting within the scope of his employment at the time of the accident.

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Earlier this year in a closely divided decision, the Mississippi Supreme Court decided the case of Holaday v. Moore, in which the court affirmed the denial of a doctor’s motion to dismiss the charges against him for being brought after the statute of limitations had expired. The plaintiff added the defendant to an earlier filed suit after discovering that the doctor potentially had more involvement than they’d believed based on his prior representations.

The plaintiff alleged that the defendant intentionally concealed his involvement in the incident, and they didn’t discover his true involvement until discovering inconsistent testimony through various other doctors’ depositions. The defendant argued that the plaintiff had the necessary information to sue him within the two-year statute of limitations from the discovery of her injury, along with the other defendants.

The Plaintiff’s Injury and the Defendant’s Involvement

Earlier this month, a Japanese airbag manufacturer, Takata, announced the largest recall of automotive parts in U.S. history, with estimates of the number of affected US vehicles in the 34-million range. According to a national CNN news report, the airbags were recalled because they have been shown to send shrapnel into the faces of front-seat occupants upon deploying.

According to the report, there have been approximately six deaths worldwide that have been tied to the faulty airbags, mostly occurring in older-model vehicles. The fact that many of the recalled vehicles are older make the situation different from many other recent recalls, which generally involve newer vehicles.

The Total Number of Recalled Vehicles

The exact number of vehicles that are subject to the recall is unknown. Even more uncertain is how many of the recalled vehicles will actually get brought in to the dealer for the necessary repairs. Experts claim that because the recall affects so many older models owners may be hard to track down, given that the vehicles may have changed hands numerous times.

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Earlier this month, a Fox News affiliate posted an article discussing pharmacy errors in general but also covering the fact that the nationwide drugstore chain, Walgreen’s, has currently had several claims made against it alleging the negligence of pharmacy personnel. According to the report, there have been two recent accusations that Walgreen’s provided the wrong drug to pharmacy patients.

In the first instance, a mother went to pick up what she believed was her son’s allergy medication. However, instead of the allergy medicine, the filling pharmacist provided the boy’s mother with a strong anti-psychotic medication. The woman gave her son two doses of the medicine and then noticed the ill effects of the medication. Her son could not talk or breathe. She took him to the hospital where the error was discovered. and hospital staff told the woman that she likely would have lost her son had she given him one more dose.

The second alleged error took place when a 15-year-old girl went to fill her prescription for antibiotics. However, instead of antibiotics she was provided Olanzapine, a medicine used to treat schizophrenia. The girl told reporters that her heart started racing, and she started to get blurred vision. Thankfully, she was treated at the hospital and made a full recovery.

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Earlier last year, a drunk driver killed two 21-year-old best friends in a head-on collision on the Sawgrass Expressway. Back at the time of the accident, the tragic story made national news because the driver had tweeted “2 drunk 2 care” just moments before she collided head-on with the girls’ car.

According to one national news report, the woman recently plead guilty to two counts of DUI manslaughter and was sentenced to 24 years in prison by a Florida judge. At the conclusion of her sentence, she will be on probation for another six years and will never be allowed to drive again.

Evidence showed that at the time of the accident the drunk driver had consumed two “fish-bowl sized” cocktails at a restaurant with friends. She then got into her car and tweeted “2 drunk 2 care” before getting on the highway and causing the fatal accident. When asked about the tweet, the woman explained that it was not in reference to her drunk driving, but was referring to a fight she was having with her boyfriend at the time.

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Earlier this month in Dade City, a tragic accident took the life of a 17-year-old high-school student after she was in a vehicle that collided head-on with another oncoming vehicle. According a report by the Tampa Bay Times, the accident occurred on Smith Road around 11:30 in the morning.

Reports state the high-school student was in the car with her boyfriend, who was driving at the time. The two were running errands when her boyfriend swerved out of his lane to avoid an oncoming car. As he did so, he lost control of his own vehicle, which then left the roadway and eventually crashed into several nearby trees before coming to a rest.

Both of the teenagers were wearing their seatbelts at the time of the accident. However, the young girl sustained serious injuries in the accident that resulted in too much pressure being applied to her brain. She was flown to St. Joseph’s Hospital, where she underwent emergency surgery. However, she sadly passed away from her injuries a short time later. Her boyfriend was taken to the hospital with a broken arm and is expected to fully recover.

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Earlier this month in a tragic accident out of Walt Disney World, one man was killed when the sports car he was a passenger in lost control and crashed.  According to one local news source, the man, a 36-year-old from Davenport, was a passenger in a Lamborghini in the “Richard Petty Driving Experience” attraction at Disney World.

Reports state the man was the Operations Manager of the attraction and was riding with a 24-year-old driver when the vehicle left the track and crashed into a nearby guardrail.  The passenger was pronounced dead at the scene, while the driver of the vehicle was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for his injuries.

The course is operated by Petty Holdings, a company owned in part by famous NASCAR personality Richard Petty. The company has several other racing outfits across the country, including tracks in Atlanta, Daytona Beach, Charlotte, New Jersey, Kansas, New Hampshire, and Texas. Depending on the package selected by the guest, they can either ride as a passenger or drive an exotic car around a race-track.

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Earlier this month in Ocala, a 33-year-old officer who had been with the force for nearly three years was killed in a shooting range accident. According to one local news report, the officer was involved in a training exercise when he was fatally shot by a fellow officer.

The accident took place at the Lowell Correctional Institution while the officers were cleaning their weapons after a training exercise .  Another officer’s weapon discharged and struck the deceased officer in the arm before traveling through his chest. The officer was wearing a bullet-proof vest, but his arm and side remained exposed. The officer was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

There were several instructors present at the time of the accident, and it is unknown how the second officer’s weapon suddenly discharged. However, the police department has opened up an investigation into whether its own protocols were sufficient to protect against this kind of accident.

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