Volume II, 1996

Volume II, 1996

Concrete Pumping Boom Collapses

Settlement on Eve of Trial for More Than $250,000.00

On May 3, 1994, Willie B. Johnson was doing what he knew how to do best and had done for the last 20 years of his life, which was to pour concrete. Willie worked for Warren Concrete Services for the last 20 years when one day a concrete pumping boom collapsed while he was spreading the concrete for the new University of Miami parking lot structure. The concrete pumping boom which was a dangerous and defective product was leased by the defendant, Biscayne Pump Sales & Equipment Rental, Inc., to Willie’s employer. Biscayne Pump Sales & Equipment Rental, Inc., was sued by Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. for negligence and strict liability based on product liability laws.

Willie Johnson suffered a herniated disc when the concrete pumping boom collapsed and hit him on the back. Willie’s doctor said that he was unable to continue any type of work which involved heavy lifting and restricted him to work where he would not have to lift more than 20 pounds. Willie’s doctor also said that due to the nature of his herniation he did not think it would benefit Willie to perform any type of surgery on Willie’s back.

Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. worked with several experts in the area of crane inspection, mechanical engineering and metallurgy to evaluate this case and prove that the leasing company was at fault for a defective weld which caused this accident.

The defendant fought this case “tooth and nail” claiming that they were simply a leasing company and were not responsible for what they claimed was a manufacturing defect.

A small offer was made at mediation and ultimately only several days before trial, the case was settled for over $250,000.00.

Mitchell Panter Certified as a Specialist In Civil Trial Law

The Law Firm of Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. is pleased to announce that Mitchell J. Panter has been certified by the Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education as a Specialist in Civil Trial Law and has been recognized as a certified member of the National Board of Trial Advocacy.

To become a certified specialist, a lawyer must be an active member in good standing of the Florida Bar, have practiced law for a minimum of five years, pass a written examination in the specialty area, demonstrate substantial experience in the specialty area, complete approved continuing legal education programs and have the ability and experience in the specialty field favorably evaluated by judges and other lawyers.

Brett Panter is also a Board Certified Specialist in Civil Trial Law. At Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. we work hard to provide our clients with the utmost in competence, skills, experience and the best efforts possible for our clients.

Surgical Negligence

Joann Silguero is a 30 year old woman who went to Mohammad Masri, a general surgeon who informed her that she needed to have her gallbladder removed. Joann underwent a surgical procedure which is called laparoscopic cholecystectomy on August 6, 1994. Dr. Masri put Joann to sleep with general anesthesia.

While Joann was asleep the electro-cautery unit was negligently left near her lip which caused a severe burn to her left upper lip.

As a result of the surgeon’s negligence, Joann suffered a burn on her lip and received a scar over her lip.

According to her current treating physician, well known plastic surgeon, Dr. Carlos Wolf, she will need a scar revision along with an excision of the scar. It is expected that her scar will remain, to some degree, because it is a large area involving the upper lip.

Joann eventually went to her family lawyer, Rudolph Browd, who asked Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. to handle this medical negligence claim.

Brett Panter believed that this case should have been settled without the necessity of a lawsuit. However, as is typical in many medical negligence cases, the Doctor’s insurance carrier was unwilling to immediately and fairly resolve this matter.

Multiple unreasonable low offers were made to the plaintiff in this matter. After several rounds of negotiations, Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. decided that suit had to be filed on behalf of Joann Silguero. Ultimately, after suit was filed and Dr. Masri was cross-examined at deposition, this case was settled for $95,000.00. Joann Silguero will now have the funds needed for corrective plastic surgery and she will also receive compensation for the pain and suffering that she endured as a result of the Doctor’s negligence.

Dade County School Board is Responsible For Child’s Safety

The law is clear that the School Board has a duty to supervise its students. Pursuant to that duty to supervise, the School Board likewise has a duty to protect its students from assaults by other students. The School Board also has a duty to protect teachers and other school personnel from assaults by students and nonstudents alike. Similarly, the School Board owes invitees on school premises, including nonstudent invitees, the duty of keeping its premises in a reasonably safe condition.

When Mr. & Mrs. B sent their daughter to elementary school they thought she was safe. They relied upon the school, teachers and other personnel to protect their daughter. Unfortunately, the School Board failed to fulfill their duty of protecting S.B.

S.B. was sexually attacked and battered by several other elementary school students on the playground, while the teachers and teachers’ assistants sat in a shaded area. An eyewitness driving by the school playground saw the attack and promptly notified school officials.

Attorney Rudolph Browd referred the case to Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. based on their experience in this area of law and skills in handling this type of case.

Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. filed suit against the Dade County School Board for Negligence based on the School Board’s failure to protect S.B. from the other students and the horrible damages that resulted from the vicious attack on the minor child.

Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. was able to resolve the case prior to trial for an undisclosed amount which will provide the child with ample compensation to care for her medical and psychological needs for the duration of her life.

Meteorologist Helps In $200,000.00 Recovery

In an effort to recreate the scene when F.O. fell at the Episcopal Church, Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. retained Professor Herbert J. Spiegel from Hilkar Consulting to calculate the exact position of the moon and weather conditions that existed on October 1, 1993 so that lighting tests could be conducted in a similar condition as when F.O. fell in the Episcopal Church parking lot.

On October 1, 1993, F.O. went to the Episcopal Church to attend an Orchid Club meeting. The lights in the parking lot were not working on this evening, and as F.O. and her friend walked towards the building, F.O. tripped and fell on a speed bump which was not visible due to the dark condition of the parking lot.

Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. first retained Professor Spiegel to provide us with the exact time and date to take lighting tests so that the evidence could be used in Court. Together with an Electrical Engineer (Pedro Martinez), electrical tests were conducted which proved that the lighting conditions on the Church property on the night that F.O. fell were below standards and were unreasonably dangerous.

The Church had prior problems with the lighting system and through discovery Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. was able to establish a strong liability case against the Church.

F.O. suffered a comminuted fracture of the distal femur which extended into the joint. F.O. underwent an open reduction surgical procedure and the doctors installed a plate and screws to connect her leg bones together.

Using a unique technique allowed by the Circuit Court Judge, the case was presented to an Advisory Jury in which statements were presented to the jury by both sides and then the jury was instructed on the law and permitted to decide the case.

Following the jury’s decision, the case was settled for $200,000.00.

Brett Panter Elected President of B’nai B’rith Bench & Bar Unit

Brett Panter was installed as President of B’nai B’rith Bench & Bar Unit on October 21, 1995 at the First Annual Installation Dinner and Award Ceremony. B’nai B’rith Bench & Bar is an organization that Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. is proud to be involved in. B’nai B’rith Bench & Bar is a community based organization involved in many activities and charitable events.

Congressman Dante Fascell was the honored keynote speaker at B’nai B’rith’s First Annual Installation Dinner and Award Ceremony. Congressman Dante Fascell served as South Florida’s Congressman for 38 years. Mr. Fascell is well recognized as an unrelenting advocate for human rights.

Dr. Sanford L. Ziff was awarded the 1995 Humanitarian of the Year Award. Dr. Ziff is the founder of Sunglass Hut and is a devoted philanthropist and long time friend of B’nai B’rith and Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A.

FYI CORNER—Do You Really Have “Full Coverage?”

Did your insurance agent tell you that you just purchased “Full Coverage” for your automobile car insurance? What does that mean and how will it affect you if and when you are involved in a car accident?

Florida Law only requires that drivers have a bare minimum coverage of $10,000.00 for Personal Injury Protection and $10,000.00 for Property Damage Coverage. Bodily Injury Coverage, Medical Payments Coverage, Comprehensive and Collision Coverage and Uninsured Motorist Coverage is not required. Personal Injury Protection Deductibles may be up to $2,000.00.

According to many insurance agents “full coverage” is the bare minimum required by law. However, the bare minimum required by law may not be enough coverage if you or your loved ones are involved in a serious accident.

Personal Injury Protection means that your insurance company will pay for 80% of your medical expenses and 60% of lost wages when you are involved in an accident, less any deductible, up to a maximum payout of $10,000.00.

Property Damage means that your insurance company will pay for property (automobiles, homes or other structures) that you damage up to the maximum amount of $10,000.00.

The above coverages are all that is required by Florida Law. However, Bodily Injury Coverage will provide you with insurance if you injure someone else. Without this coverage, you will be personally liable for any such damage. Medical Payments Coverage serves as a supplement to your Personal Injury Protection and will pay the difference that is not paid by PIP because of the deductible and/or the 20% not paid by PIP. Comprehensive and Collision will pay for your property damage (your car) if your car is stolen or damaged through your fault or the fault of another. Finally, Uninsured Motorist Coverage will provide you with benefits if you are injured by another driver who does not have any insurance or is underinsured.

Contact your insurance agent immediately to determine the type of coverage that you presently have and the type of coverage that best suits your needs.