Volume V, 1998-99

Volume V, 1998-99

Partial Settlement For $625,000 Provides Financial Security For Children

On August 20, 1997, the families of Sylvana Normil Youngblood and Celestin Normil suffered the tragic loss of their loved ones. Sylvana Normil Youngblood, the mother of Brindana Normil (2 years old) and Varnard Normil (5 years old) and Celestin Normil were killed in an automobile accident while riding as passengers in an Alamo Rental Car.

Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. previously worked for a multimillion dollar jury verdict against Alamo in a separate case and which resulted in providing financial security for other families. Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. was well versed in the legal issues which were involved in this case from prior experience.

The “dangerous instrumentality doctrine” allowed Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. to proceed with a claim against Alamo based upon its ownership of the rental car and its responsibility to the general public as the owner of a motor vehicle.

Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. was able to provide comfort and assurance to the family by securing a settlement which will enable the children’s aunt to purchase a safe and secure home for the family and provide funds for the children’s education.

At Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. we are committed to the principal that rental car companies should be responsible for the damages caused by their cars. Without this law, the taxpayers of our State would be financially responsible for these and other minor children and often times substantial medical bills.

We encourage our clients and fellow attorneys to contact your Legislators and voice your concerns that the rental car companies should not be able to avoid liability for the damages caused by their vehicles.

Politics Can Impact Your Rights

On May 18, 1998, Governor Lawton Chiles vetoed SB874. This Bill would have made significant changes to the State’s tort system affecting the rights and safety of Florida’s families.

This was an extreme Bill. Governor Chiles stated that this Bill would have left injured consumers uncompensated and State taxpayers picking up the cost for negligent businesses.

The Bill had several short comings including but not limited to a 12 year statute of repose on product liability. This would have meant that regardless of any and all circumstances, a lawsuit could not be brought if a product was more than 12 years old. Governor Chiles correctly noted that many products are designed to last more than 12 years.

The Bill the Governor vetoed also included an arbitrary $300,000.00 cap on the application of joint and several liability for economic damages. This would have denied full compensation for victims who suffer from catastrophic injuries, some of which require lifetime medical care.

The Bill ultimately was vetoed. Unfortunately, it is expected the Bill will resurface in 1999. This Bill has been known to simply be a political payback for big business. POLITICS SHOULD NOT HAVE AN IMPACT ON CONSIDERING LAWS THAT AFFECT THE SAFETY AND WELL BEING OF FLORIDA’S FAMILIES.

newsletter-v-buddymckayBuddy McKay, the Lieutenant Governor is running for Governor this year and stands committed to protecting Florida’s families and preventing politics from impacting on laws that affect the safety and well being of Florida’s families. You should ask each one of your legislators if they are committed to prohibiting politics from having an impact when considering laws that affect the safety and well being of Florida’s families.

Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. urges you to contact your legislators and ask them to vote against any laws that cap or prohibit you from seeking damages due to the negligence of others.

Below you will find a list of your representatives and senators along with their phone numbers.

If you have any further questions, contact Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A.

Gutman, Alberto
Turner, William
Diaz-Balart, Mario
Silver, Ron
Casas, Roberto
Jones, Daryl
Rojas, Luis
Logan, Willie
Meek, Kendrick
Heyman, Sally
Bloom, Elaine
Barreiro, Bruno
Roberts-Burke, Beryl
Bush, James
Garcia, Rodolfo
Valdes, Carlos L.
Villalobos, J. Alex
Morse, Luis
Rodriguez-Chomat, Jorge
Diaz de la Portilla, Alex
Betancourt, Annie
Lacasa, Carlos
Bullard, Larcenia
Cosgrove, John
Horan, Debbie

Nursing Home Claim Settles For $275,000

R.F. was an unfortunate twenty-five (25) year old quadriplegic as a result of a gun shot wound he received as an innocent bystander when a convenience store was held up. Obviously, R.F. was completely dependent upon others for all aspects of his life, including his nutrition.

When R.F. was admitted to a nursing home in Miami on September 29, 1995, the nursing home failed to accurately document his height. R.F. failed to receive the appropriate nutritional diet he required. Over the course of the next several months, R.F. developed many complications including multiple infections, pneumonia, developments of new decubitus ulcers and infection to existing ones, sepsis, dehydration, and nutritional marasmus (malnutrition).

“Malnutrition is an example of the inadequate care and treatment provided by the nursing home. Nutritional marasmus most commonly occurs in children from the ages of 6 to 18 months in overpopulated poor cities of the world. “It is sad to have to compare a skilled nursing facility to an overpopulated poor city of the world,” added Brett Panter.

The nursing home argued that the complications which R.F. developed was a natural consequence of his delicate state of health. They also suggested that their oversight in accurately documenting R.F.’s height was inconsequential to the amount of nutrition he received. Regardless, Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. was able to settle the case for $275,000.

Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A.’s Invitation To Trial Lawyers

We would like to extend an open invitation to plaintiffs’ attorneys throughout the country, who may be receiving our Newsletter.

If you are a lawyer representing an injured person and you have litigation and/or meetings in Miami, feel free to call us and avail yourself to the use of our video conference room and facilities.

This invitation is exclusive to lawyers who are representing individuals who are injured.

We at Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. feel it is important to work together. In the spirit of cooperation and sharing, we extend our welcome to others who have the same interests and desire to protect the citizens of our country. (Contact Brett Panter to make arrangements.)

Law Firm Notes

Mitchell J. Panter, Esq., is the newly elected President of the Miami Chapter of the B’nai B’rith Bench & Bar. The organization is involved in many facets of our community with youth organizations, senior citizen activities and the awareness of Jewish activities in the legal community.

Panter, Panter & Sampedro, P.A. congratulates Mitchell J. Panter on this accomplishment and encourages our friends and colleagues to join the Bench & Bar B’nai B’rith by calling Mitchell Panter at 305-662-6178.

David Sampedro has recently completed his first year as a member of the Board of Directors for the Young Lawyers’ Section of the Dade County Bar Association. This past year he co-chaired the Law Week Committee and the Kids’ Club Committee. This year, in addition to continuing his work with the children of Kids Club, David will chair the committee on Professionalism.

newsletter-v-brett-planeBrett Panter lectured on “Adjusting the Automobile Injury Claim in Florida” in July for the National Business Institute. Brett Panter also lectured on the topic of “Jury Selection in Auto Cases” for the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers in July. Both lectures were attended by lawyers who are interested in personal injury litigation.Brett Panter also has been re-certified as a private pilot and anticipates being able to better serve clients by more easily traveling throughout the State of Florida.

Nursing Home Claim Settles Prior To Filing Suit

At the age of ninety-seven (97), Despina Martakis was a resident of the King David Center Convalescent Home, a nursing home in Palm Beach County. For years, her family had accepted the nursing home’s various explanations as to many unexplained falls, bruises, and fractures.

However, when Despina Martakis fell from a hospital bed as she was being wheeled down the hall when the bed rail broke, her family could take no more. Nicholas Gerry, the grandson of Despina Martakis, contacted Ron Lantz, a local attorney in West Palm Beach, who then contacted the attorneys at Panter, Panter & Sampedro P.A.

The attorneys for Panter, Panter & Sampedro P.A. contacted the nursing home and informed them about Florida’s Nursing Home Residents’ Bill of Rights. The nursing home indicated that an investigation by the State of Florida concluded that it was not at fault for the bed rail breaking.

Panter, Panter & Sampedro P.A. was set to file suit when the nursing home agreed to settle the claim for $125,000. “This was an especially effective result because the family did not have to undergo the rigors of litigation to get fair and reasonable compensation,” said David Sampedro. This is just one more example of how Panter, Panter & Sampedro P.A. continues to work on protecting Florida’s elderly citizens.

NOTE: The accounts of recent trials, verdicts and settlements contained in this Newsletter are intended to illustrate the experience of the firm in a variety of litigation areas. Each case is unique, and the results in one case do not necessarily indicate the quality or value of any other case.