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Archive for personal-injury

Man Struck by Train in West Palm Beach

WEST PALM BEACH – A man was struck and killed by a train last Thursday in West Palm Beach. The man, identified as Christopher Barnes, 29, was from Greenacres.

According to witness accounts, Barnes was traveling west by foot. He was seen on the north side of Palm Beach Lakes. Barnes was talking on a cell phone when he walked underneath the crossing gates and was struck by the train. The train that hit Barnes was located close to Boynton Beach, forcing officers to process two separate scenes.

While this accident is tragic to be sure, it is perhaps more so because it was avoidable. Unfortunately, many of us feel as though we cannot live without our technology. We constantly check email, respond to text messages, and post to social media when we should be paying attention to our surroundings. Whether driving, bicycling or walking, it is imperative that we pay close attention to what we are doing.

When is the last time you had a near miss because you were absorbed in your mobile device? If you are like most people, it was not that long ago. We have become a nation of people who demand instant gratification and the ability to be almost permanently connected to one another.

Put your phone away. Put the tablet down. There is nothing going on inside the virtual world that cannot wait. As is the case in this news report, keeping up with the goings on of the people you know can be deadly. It doesn’t have to be. If you are performing a task that requires your attention, keep your phone tucked in your pocket. If you must take a call or respond to a text, pull over to the side of the road if you are driving. If you are walking, stop and take care of it before you start walking again. Had Barnes have done this, he may

Five Reasons Your Child Should Learn to Swim

If you have a child and are wondering whether or not they should learn how to swim, the answer is this: Yes! There are endless benefits to swimming, not the least of which is your child’s safety. Here are five reasons why it pays for your child to know how to swim.


The first reason is undoubtedly safety. If you live in an area where heading to the beach is a popular pastime, your neighbors have pools, or boating is a fun way to spend a sunny afternoon, knowing how to swim is crucial. Drowning is the number one cause of unintentional death for children between the ages of one and 14.

Lifelong Exercise

Unlike some sports that are tough on the joints, swimming can be done for the rest of your child’s life. It feels good on the joints, is low impact, and has very little risk of injury. Once your child learns how to swim, they have learned an activity that they can perform long into old age.

Low Impact

Swimming is one of the kindest exercises for the human body. It is not tough on joints, there is no risk of fall (when in the water), and it is a great cardio workout. Children run a very low risk for damaging growth plates and forming joints with this fantastic sport.

Team Building

If your child falls in love with swimming, it can be a great sport to participate in. Participation in sports has been shown to build self-esteem, self-confidence, and a variety of social skills. Being part of a team is great for any child.

Great Workout

Swimming involves all of the muscle groups. The exercise is a quick way to burn calories, and is easy for even overweight children to participate in. The CDC tells us that swimming can help with both mental and physical health.

There are many reasons to let your child

Dealing with Heat Exhaustion and Your Child

With near record-breaking temperatures hitting the state, it is important to remember the little humans among us as they partake in summertime sports and recreational activities. Kids and heatstroke go hand-in-hand in heat like this and, sadly, the condition can be fatal if not treated quickly.

Your children do not have to be participating in organized sports to be at risk of heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Playing outdoors in our weather can be just as dangerous. Your child’s body does not regulate heat in the same way that your adult body does. Their bodies also rise in temperature at a rate that is five times faster that of an adult.

While getting outdoors and exercising is beneficial to children, it can also be dangerous if you are not aware of heat exhaustion and how to prevent it. Follow these tips, not only for your kids, but for anyone you know who will be spending time outdoors.

You can easily recognize the signs of heat exhaustion if you just look for In many them. They include profuse sweating, increased thirst, weakness, muscle cramps, nausea or vomiting, and an increased body temperature. If left untreated, these symptoms can escalate to seizures, confusion, rapid breathing, and a lack of sweating.

If your child or an adult is experiencing symptoms, bring the person into the shade or, better yet, indoors, immediately. Undress the person and have them lie down. Elevate the person’s feet and prop them on a rolled towel or pillow. If the person is alert, have them sit in a cool bath. Give them sips of cool water, but do not allow them to drink full glasses in a single go. If the person is vomiting, make sure they are lying on their side.

If you have done these things and symptoms persist or worsen, call for emergency help immediately. Without relief of symptoms, the person is at very real risk for

Man Gets Stuck in Gym Equipment

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA – Millions of people head to the gym every day in hopes of staying fit. Most of those people leave the gym the same way they entered: uninjured. Not so for a Fort Lauderdale man last week.

The 60-yeard-old unidentified man’s accident occurred just before 11:30 a.m. at The W Hotel. The hotel guest was working out on a piece of equipment designed to work the shoulders. He fell off the machine and got his head caught in it. Officials were not clear on exactly how the accident happened.

What is clear is that Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue’s Technical Rescue Team found it necessary to ready torches and saws to free the man. Luckily, another crew was able to manipulate the man’s head using nothing but a bar. He was freed from the machine but sustained significant injuries.

The man was alert when transported to Broward Health Medical Center.

While accidents like this are not a frequent occurrence, it is important to note that injuries can be sustained quite easily while using weights and other workout equipment. Before you utilize any equipment, be sure to follow these tips:

Know how to operate the machinery. No matter what you are using, be sure you are aware of its proper use. Many gyms have signs attached or next to equipment that describe how to use it correctly.

Wear the proper attire. Clothing that fits too loosely can easily be caught in the gears and mechanisms of gym equipment. Wear proper-fitting clothing at all times, including footwear.

Ask for assistance. If, at any time, you are not sure how to use a machine or believe that you need help, ask for it. A good gym will have employees on hand that can assist you.

Know your limits. Whether you are new to the gym or have been working out for years, you have limits. Realize what these are and

Strong Police Presence on San Diego Beaches

If you live in San Diego, chances are you are looking forward to spending a fun summer on the shores of the ocean. Unfortunately, many people forgo the beach out of concern for their safety. San Diego police officers aim to ease that fear this summer as they take to the beaches with body cameras for the first time.

According to Officer Angela Johnson, “We turn them on for every enforcement contact that we do. It goes on a website and downloads onto our little dock we have back at the station.”

While you can expect crowds at the beaches this summer, what you shouldn’t expect is having to share your space with someone who is intoxicated. Even though alcohol has not been permitted on local beaches for years, people are still bringing it in. Officers are making a concerted effort to put an end to the activity.

The specially-assigned beach team will patrol the sand in highly visible off-road vehicles to make sure everyone is following the rules. Those rules include no glass bottles, no smoking, and no alcohol. “With alcohol, we get a lot of incidents, where people start fights, go out swimming, forget how to swim,” said Johnson.

You can easily spot signs along the beach that declare the rules, but many aren’t aware that the same rules apply to the parking lots and boardwalk as well. That includes allowing your dog on the beach. Dogs are not permitted in any area between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Dogs in the area after 6 p.m. must remain on a leash at all times. This is to help prevent injury to both people and animals.

Even though police officers will be putting forth a strong presence, it is important that you take steps to protect yourself and your property.

Stay sober. Many altercations begin because people have had too much to drink. Verbal arguments can

Town and Vendor May Be Sued Over Bounce House Incident

Local attorney Brian Greenwald sent notice of a claim to Fort Lauderdale Mayor John Seiler last Thursday regarding possible legal action against both the city and a bounce house vendor. The claim stems from a Memorial Day incident in which a waterspout sent a bounce house tumbling across a city beach.

In that incident, a five-year-old girl sustained “physical injuries to her left wrist, as well as emotional distress.” The claim goes on to say, “Due to the setup of the bounce house itself, the lack of the requisite level of supervision at the bounce house’s location, as well as the inclement weather conditions…the City of Fort Lauderdale acted with gross negligence. The negligent actions and/or inactions of the City of Fort Lauderdale directly caused [the child’s] physical and mental trauma.”

An 11-year-old child also sustained injuries in the incident.

The vendor and the city have been given 30 days to respond to the claim.

According to Mayor Seiler, the weather conditions changed rapidly and in a way that could not have been predicted. The 65 to 85 mph winds toppled street lights and decimated a basketball support structure made of cement. The city has already been in contact with the vendor, All Star Events, as it investigates the incident.

All Star Events released a statement saying that the company’s thoughts and prayers were with the injured and their families. The company has also stated that they were as surprised as everyone else about the sudden turn in the weather and that safety is the company’s top priority. They claim to be working with law enforcement and the City so future incidents like this can be prevented.

A video of the incident shows a waterspout coming to shore, hit the inflated castle, and tossed it into the air. The castle flipped several times before it was caught up in the air again. According to police reports, three children were

Bounce House Dangers

If you have children, chances are you want to make their birthdays a special day. You will plan a party, invite friends and family to the celebration, and make sure that your little one has the time of their life. You may even choose to rent a bounce house or other inflatable for entertainment. But wait.

Before you spend money on a bounce house, you should be aware of the vast number of complaints regarding the safety of these popular party rentals. The inflatable rental industry is not regulated in the state of Florida. Recent footage of a bounce house floating across a beach in Fort Lauderdale has people questioning whether these rentals are a good idea.

In this most recent incident, none of the three small occupants inside were seriously injured, though the children, their parents, and party goers received quite a fright. According to Jupiter Bounce owner Stephen Vonk, the only thing needed to start your own bounce house rental business is money. It is up to owners of the companies to monitor the safety of their equipment.

“There are only a few of us that do things the right way,” says Vonk. “It’s important to look for an owner that’s also insured to make sure you’re making the safest decision.”

The Journal of Pediatrics released a report stating that 31 children were sent to an emergency room each day in 2010 due to injuries received on or in these inflatables. That equates to one child every 46 minutes being injured. In the past 20 years, there have been five injuries per every 100,000 children playing on or in these popular party toys.

Bounce-house accidents often occur for one of two reasons: the house is not secured properly or operators are inattentive. If you choose to have a bounce house at your child’s party, make sure that the owner or employee has secured the house properly

Child Drowns in Neighbor’s Pool

RAMONA, Cal – A child has drowned in a horrible accident in the Ramona section of San Diego County.

A 4-year-old boy wandered into a neighbor’s backyard and into the swimming pool. The boy ultimately drowned according to the local sheriff’s department. It is not immediately clear why the boy was on his own or how he ended up in the swimming pool.

The homeowner of the house located in the 16000 block of Swartz Canyon Road heard her dogs barking and found the boy in the pool. 911 dispatchers gave instructions to the woman to perform CPR on the boy.

Paramedics arrived on scene and took over the life-saving measures in an attempt to resuscitate the child. The boy was airlifted to Rady Children’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Swimming Pool Requirements in Miami-Dade

In 2009, the Florida Legislature passed the Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act in an attempt to reduce the number of fatalities due to drowning or other pool accidents.

According to the Act, all outdoor swimming pools in the city must have a barrier around the outer perimeter of the pool that is four-feet tall or higher. There must be no gaps in the barrier. That fence must be far enough away from the edge of the pool that if a child does scale it or get through it, they will not immediately fall into the water.

Pool fence gates must open outward and have self-closing and self-locking devices installed. Those devices must be outside of the reach of children.

Pools that are housed indoors or within some type of screened barrier are not required to have a secondary fence or barrier. The walls, screens, windows, and/or doors of the indoor pool must be alarmed or have self-closing and self-latching devices installed out of the reach of children.

Kiddie pools are popular with families and are outside the bounds of the act. These small, temporary

SDSU Fireworks Mishap

For decades, the San Diego State University homecoming game has been synonymous with the sheer spectacular that is the Sky Show pyrotechnic display. Set to music, fireworks are set off in a dazzling display designed to wow the audience. This year, however, a mishap with the fireworks sent one of the rockets sideways – directly into the audience – hitting an 11-year-old attendee.

“It looked like it malfunctioned because there were three that went off at the same time and two of them went up and one went sideways towards the stands, so it looked weird,” said witness Jonathan Marshall.

The young man was treated by medical personnel at the scene and his parents were told to follow up with their family doctor. He is said to have suffered first and second degree burns on his forearm and torso and is expected to make a full recovery. There is no doubt, however, that this event will replay in his mind and his parent’s minds for a long time to come.

Pyro-Spectaculars, the 90-year-old company that put on the show has many notable pyrotechnic shows under its belt, including the Macy’s Fourth of July Spectacular in New York, the 125th Anniversary of the Statue of Liberty, the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Greece, and numerous Super Bowl Shows. Unfortunately, they are also said to have endured a few mishaps:

1996 – An employee died when the company’s manufacturing plant exploded 2002 – Two technicians injured when a firework exploded at eye-level 2003 – A fireworks stand slipped during an Oakland A’s game sending fireworks into the second and third levels 2008 – Cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration when an employee was injured while working with fireworks in a sealed room 2010 – Four spectators injured when a firework ricocheted off a building and into the crowd

Even with the accidents that happen at public firework displays, the

Los Angeles Dodgers Partially Responsible for $18M Verdict in Beating of Fan

Baseball fans love the arrival of spring; going to the game, sitting in the stands, cheering on your favorite team, enjoying hot dogs and popcorn

Bryan Stow – Beating Victim

and the general camaraderie of others who share your passion. For many, there is no better way to spend a spring afternoon. That was the case for Bryan Stow, Louie Sanchez, and Marvin Norwood; three men whose lives were forever changed after the March 31, 2011 game between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Stow, a San Francisco Giants fan, wore his jersey to show support for his team. It has been reported that throughout the game Stow had several drinks. It was also reported that there was a verbal altercation with Sanchez and Norwood – Los Angeles Dodgers fans. The game ended, and as the men were leaving the stadium, the verbal interchange escalated to a physical fight in the parking lot where Sanchez and Norwood were witnessed punching and kicking Stow while he was on the ground. Stow, a former paramedic, spent the next two years in the hospital and was left with brain damage.

Initially, Stow sought $37.5M to cover costs associated with lifetime care and lost earnings. The jury deliberated for nine days and handed down the $18M verdict to be split amongst attackers Sanchez and Norwood and the Los Angeles Dodgers organization. Sanchez and Norwood – both currently serving prison terms for the assault – are each responsible for 37.5 percent for administering the beating and the LA Dodgers organization responsible for 25 percent for their failure to provide adequate security in the parking lot.

It was presented during the trial that the team allotted approximately 62 cents per person for security for the opening day game against the rival teams. Attorneys for the stadium also argued that Stow contributed to his own demise because he was drinking and registered .18 on