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Articles Posted in Crime Victims

In November a Miami apartment complex settled its fourth negligent security case in four months. The 9-year-old son of a man shot in April was awarded $1.45 million because the apartment failed to provide adequate security precautions for its residents. If you have been injured or had a loved one killed on a premise with negligent security, contact a Miami Negligent Security Attorney.

This newest settlement was shortly preceded by three other settlements of three men who were shot at a Super Bowl party in the complex and one of the men was killed. The two surviving men and the family of the decedent received a combined $2.4 million settlement.

The lawyer of the case found that the apartment complex owners did not hire security guards or off-duty police officers to patrol the building, there were no security cameras, insufficient lighting and one of the gates meant to restrict access to the complex was missing. These are all serious blunders by the apartment administration that could have made it easier for shooters to gain access to the complex.

Liberty City nightclub, The Spot, was the scene of a massive shooting on Sunday, September 28th early in the morning. The nightclub which is located at NW 7thave and 64th street in Miami, was hosting a party when gunfire broke out randomly throughout the club. According to sources, 15 people were shot, including many under the age of 21.  It was initially reported that the club obtained a liquor license this past April and was legally permitted to serve alcohol until 3 am.  Yet, its doors appear to have been open to minors of nearly all ages. In fact, a young girl only 12 years of age was in the nightclub during this shooting. One of those critically wounded was a 15 year old boy.

As the criminal investigation continues, more information about the potential negligent and illegal operations of this business are trickling in. Our Miami Crime Victim Lawyers are keeping a close eye on the criminal investigation and representing one of the innocent shooting victims. Earlier today, news reports were that the club manager was arrested. It was also reported that the club was licensed to operate as a business but not a “nightclub”.  Other news reports state that the “Spot” may only have been licensed to sell beer and wine only.

Under Florida common law negligence principals, property owners and operators have a duty to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition.  The latest news reports of numerous violations may be proof of not just ordinary but “gross negligence” under Florida law.  This could open the door to potential punitive damages under Florida Statutes 768. 72.

According to sources, there may have been 2 shooters involved. However, no suspects have been arrested. The only lead the police have is that the getaway vehicle may have been a white car.

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Last month, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida issued a decision in the case of Worley v. State Farm that addressed two incredibly important legal concepts in car accident cases. The first of these two concepts was the presumption of negligence that applies in rear end car collisions, and the second is the principle of comparative negligence. Our Miami car accident attorneys are following the effects closely.

In Worley, the plaintiff was injured in a 2010 car accident when a vehicle driven by the uninsured defendant rear ended her.  The plaintiff claimed that she was stopped at a yield sign when the other driver struck her. The defendant testified, however, that the plaintiff had begun to drive through the intersection when she suddenly stopped, thereby causing the collision.

The plaintiff’s auto insurance provider, State Farm, declined her coverage after determining that the plaintiff was at least partly responsible for the accident.  The plaintiff sued in federal district court and moved for summary judgment, arguing that, under Florida law, she was entitled to a presumption that the defendant driver was negligent in rear-ending her. Florida has adopted a rebuttable presumption that a rear driver’s actions are the sole proximate cause of an accident and any resulting injuries.

A TSA Officer who was shot at close range by a 23 year old man at LAX airport on Friday, died after his assailant, Paul Ciancia, shot him for the 2nd time with an assault rifle. Finally, the shooter was apprehended by airport police, shot and captured.He remains hospitalized, in critical condition at Ronald Regan UCLA Medical Center, since Sunday. Sadly, the crime victims involved in this heinous shooting included 3 TSA officers, and several other innocent travelers.

Not only was there a note on Ciancia’s body explaining that he was at the airport in order to kill transportation security, but he sent a text message to his father indicating that something terrible was about to occur. Although, Ciancia’s father called police, the police did not find him when they searched his residence. Unfortunately, airport police apprehended Ciancia after it was too late. The victims of this killing spree already died or were badly wounded.

Killing sprees of this nature occur far too often in our country. Airport security such as TSA officers do not carry fire arms for protection, and airport police are the only ones who can truly protect passengers. Greater security is necessary to prevent dangerous, armed, individuals from harming others.

Violent criminals belong behind bars and their innocent victims need professional help. A qualified victims’ rights lawyer can assist. The world has been watching as the lives of 3 women have been revealed, after being abducted and held against their will for almost 10 years, by an alleged perpetrator in Cleveland, Ohio. The crimes committed against these women are unthinkable and devastating to their families and to the world at large. Justice must be served. The alleged perpetrator, 52 year old, Ariel Castro, is facing possible death penalty charges, and at the very least life in prison for his crimes of sexual violence and kidnapping against 3 innocent women. Castro is also being charged for the kidnapping of his own 6 year old child who was conceived as a result of the rape he committed against one of his kidnapping victims, Amanda Berry.

The crimes committed against these 3 innocent women include kidnapping, sexual assault and rape, as well as physical and psychological abuse. Castro may even face murder charges for the murder of 5 unborn fetuses, after he allegedly physically starved and beat one of his captives who became pregnant 5 times due to his raping her. Michelle Knight is thought to have suffered 5 miscarriages, due to Castro’s beatings and imposed starvation on the pregnant woman. Since, the death penalty is legal in the state of Ohio, where the crimes were committed, it is possible that Castro will in fact, face the death penalty, eventually.

Crime victim attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz PA have been handling cases of traumatic physical, sexual abuse and rape for victims alike and are experienced representing crime victims and their families and recovering civil awards for them through the Florida Justice System. The crime victims’ rights lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz are experienced at handling cases of a personal and sensitive nature making them among the most qualified, crime victim attorneys in the state of Florida. Gerson & Schwartz knows how to effectively bring claims against all negligible parties who may have contributed to the duress and permanent scars that crime victims like these 3 women in Ohio have endured.

Earlier today, the 3rd District Court of Appeals affirmed a Miami Dade trial court verdict of nearly 1 million dollars against Club Nikki on South Beach. The case arises from an assault that occurred at Club Nikki and the Nikki Beach Club back in August of 2009. The victim, David Millian sustained facial lacerations after another patron attacked him with a glass by the bathroom on a Saturday night. A Miami-Dade County jury awarded the Plaintiff just over one million dollars after a six day trial. The lawsuit was styled Milian v. Penrod Brothers Inc. Club Nikki Beach is owned by Penrod Brothers Inc. and is located on One Ocean Drive on South Beach. Attorneys Philip M. Gerson, Nicholas, I. Gerson & Edward S. Schwartz, PA represented sued the club based on negligence principles. Under Florida law, night club operators are liable for the negligent acts of their employees. The allegations included that the Penrod Brothers Inc, failed to provide reasonable security on the premises which resulted in serious injuries to the Plaintiff. The Miami, Florida personal injury attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz, PA specialize in premises liability, negligent security, and crime victim cases throughout Florida.

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News is still coming in today about about Sandy Hook shooting massacre. With eerie similarities to the Columbine and shootings at Virgina Tech it is unthinkable how and why heinous crimes at schools are becoming more and more widespread. The latest calculations are that nearly 100 rounds of ammunition were fired and up to 30 children and adults have been killed. Crime Victim Lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz, PA believe that this is should be another wake up call to everyone from Congress to the members of the public.

Though the right to bear arms is a “constitutional” right recurring crimes like these at our most scared institutions require immediate legal reform. ” How can someone just go and purchase 100 rounds of ammunition?” What does someone need a high powered machine gun for other than to kill and inflict serious bodily harm?, asked Nicholas Gerson

Though it is still unknown what other security and safety measures were breached, or if there even were any in place at Sandy Hook Elementary victims rights attorney Nicholas Gerson, believes people are still going to argue that this was just another isolated and unforeseeable incident. “We disagree.” Reasonable security measures need to be enforced on a national basis- even at elementary schools. Gerson said from his Miami, Florida offices that the attorneys and investigators at his firm were monitoring the situation and have started their own preliminary investigation to determine how this happened, and what could have been to prevent it from happening.

Tragedy struck a Dade County family, when a 13 year old girl was shot in the neck by another student on a school bus last week. According to reports by the Miami Herald and CNN, an unidentified, teenage boy was charged with manslaughter, after allegedly accidentally firing a concealed weapon on a school bus shooting Lourdes Guzman. The young girl was airlifted to Miami Children’s Hospital where she died the same day. (The Miami Herald) Lourdes Guzman was an innocent victim of a violent crime and the possible negligence of a bus company and driver, who took no action to prevent this senseless death. The crime victim’s younger sister, age 7, and seven other children were eye witnesses on this fateful day. The school bus was transporting children to 3 different schools. Guzman attended the Palm Glades Preparatory Academy.

This incident has shaken the community, and has made national news this week. Wrongful death cases should be litigated, and responsible parties should be held accountable. . The bus company owned and operated by Yelimar and Portieles might be to blame for this act, which could be judged as preventable and avoidable. Regulations for school buses should be improved, including video surveillance and possibly metal detectors are on board and other protections. Training school bus drivers how to manage children in a crisis such as this one would be helpful. Teaching school bus drivers how to intervene in potentially life threatening situations could save children’s lives. A child should never be allowed to bring a deadly weapon on board a school bus and action should be taken by the drivers in order to prevent this from ever happening! Hand gun owners and parents should be accountable too. There is no excuse for underage school children to leave home armed with a deadly weapon.

Personal injury attorneys can help victims and their families in seeking damages in a court of law. Settlements for death cases, sometimes can result in millions of dollars paid to a victim’s family. If a bus company is found to be a responsible party and is insured, attorneys for their clients can seek damages, for crimes committed against children being transported in these vehicles. Experienced attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz, PA are highly trained at handling wrongful death cases. Negligent school supervision and careless firearm safety have been the basis for successful recoveries for clients of the firm.

Inundating the news media this week is the trial of former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky, the accused sex offender who is charged with sexually assaulting 10 boys over 15 years. Each of these alleged victims were specifically chosen by Sandusky during the time he founded a charity for underprivileged boys, called The Second Mile. The victims spoke of their feelings of shame and fear not only about being abused, but also about their lost contact with Sandusky.

After, these boys were selected by Sandusky as his victims, he began purchasing gifts such as golf clubs, and watches.He gave them opportunities to attend Penn State football games and introductions to meet the players. In most cases, the victims came from homes where there was no father figure. Sandusky filled a void in these children’s lives. They spoke of how Sandusky made them feel important, like a part of a family unit, that they otherwise lacked at home.

One of the most riveting moments in the trial thus far, was when one of the victims spoke about how he did not want the attention to stop. After it did, he was heartbroken. Perhaps even more perplexing is what child psychologist, Judith Cohen, medical director of the Center for Traumatic Stress in Children and Adolescents at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, revealed. She explained that even when a child is being physically or sexually abused, if the child feels an emotional bond with the perpetrator, he or she may view the relationship as special. If and when the relationship ends, the children are often highly disappointed.

On Friday, April 27, 2012 Governor Rick Scott signed into law a bill requiring anyone who suspects a case of child sexual abuse to report it to law enforcement. The Protection of Vulnerable Persons law will take effect on October 1, 2012, giving Florida the harshest mandatory requirements for reporting sexual abuse in the nation. Specifically, this bill requires that all colleges and universities adhere to stringent reporting criteria for all sex abuse violations that have taken place on their campuses.

Violations wherein a teacher, administrator, coach or any other school employee who does not “willfully or knowingly” report suspected abuse could result in serious fines and lead to criminal charges. Prior to this law, only a parent or caregiver was required to report suspected abuse. This led to an extraordinarily high number of unreported incidents and created a silence within our culture regarding sexual abuse of children. In addition, to a mandatory obligation to report any suspicion of child sexual abuse, criminal charges have also been increased from misdemeanor to third degree felony charges.

Department of Children and Families (DCF) will conduct time sensitive investigations of anyone who neglects to report child abuse. Under the new law, the State Attorney’s office will now review the actions of all school board employees, who employ anyone who is suspected of withholding information regarding a victim of child sexual abuse. Hopefully, the addition of increased fines, which can be up to $1,000,000 for any public college or university whose administration fails to report child abuse, is a step in the right direction for eradicating child sexual abuse at schools or on college campuses, and in the world at large.

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