State and Local Government Agencies Pay Statutory Maximum to Victim of Trip and Fall on Broken Sidewalk
Slip and fall accident
Jul 26, 2013
Settled before suit was filed, for full amount of benefits available
Case: E.C. v. City of Miami and the Florida Department of Transportation
Court: Miami Dade County Circuit Court, 11th Judicial Circuit
Attorneys: Plaintiff's Attorney: Lipcon & Lipcon, P.A., David W. Lipcon (see his Avvo profile)
Facts and Allegations: Plaintiff, E.C., a 79 year old house-keeper from Honduras, was walking on a public sidewalk in the area of SW 1st Avenue and SW 9th Street, in Miami, Florida. She was injured, when she tripped and fell over a portion of the sidewalk that was uneven, and raised above the rest of the sidewalk. Apparently, roots from a large tree, owned and maintained by the City of Miami, had grown under sidewalk and lifted up the concrete slab. As a result, E.C. tripped and fell, fracturing her right wrist, trying to break her fall.
E.C. hired the law firm of Lipcon & Lipcon, P.A., Personal Injury Lawyers in Miami. She stated that she had interviewed many law firms but was satisfied with Lipcon & Lipcon's reputation of success in claims against the city, county and State for other negligence claims.
David Lipcon was able to secure a settlement for E.C. for the full amount of money available pursuant to the Florida Waiver of Sovereign Immunity Act. He explained that the government entities have a cap on amounts they have to pay for injured claimants. The state rarely pays its policy limits prior to litigation.
Jesus Gonzalez v. MVM International Security Inc.
Jul 26, 2013
Settlement: $2.25 million
Jesus Gonzalez was in federal custody on Sept. 15, 2005, and was being transported from the U.S. Federal Building and Courthouse to the Miami Federal Correctional Institution in South Miami-Dade. He had pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to distribute crack.
Gonzalez was handcuffed and leg shackled in the back of a van driven by employees of Vienna, Va.-based MVM International Security, a subcontractor of the U.S. Marshals. The van was heading south on I-95 when two cars collided, causing a GEO Metro to hit the van. The van rolled three times, ejecting Gonzalez and leaving him a partial quadriplegic from a skull fracture, spinal injuries and nerve damage. He was left paralyzed from the waist down with only limited movement in his arms.
Despite the accident, he completed a sentence of two years and six months in August 2007.
The other prisoners in the van suffered relatively minor injuries. Gonzalezâ€™s medical bills approached $300,000, most of which was paid by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Gonzalez struggled to find a civil attorney to represent him because many lawyers assumed that the federal government was transporting the prisoners instead of a contractor, Lipcon said. A negligence lawsuit against the U.S. Government is difficult to prosecute because of award caps and other restrictions.
â€œEveryone thought they were marshals,â€ Lipcon said. â€œI looked further into it and realized it was a private company with private insurance, and it really changed the nature of the case.â€
Lipcon filed suit in Miami-Dade Circuit Court against MVM, Arizona-based Scottsdale Insurance and San Antonio, Texas-based Argonaut Insurance, but dropped the two insurers from the case in March. The lawsuit includes a single count alleging that MVM failed in its duty to ensure that Gonzalez was being transported safely at the time of the crash.
The case settled before trial.
Plaintiff Case: In the lawsuit, Lipcon argued that MVM wasnâ€™t negligent in how it operated the van, but in failing to ensure Gonzalez wore a seatbelt. He also contended that the van MVM used, a Chevrolet 350, had a tendency to roll in crashes when it was loaded with passengers.
Defense Case: Fulmer said he did not have permission from his client to talk to the media.
But according to Lipcon, the defense contended that MVM had no obligation to ensure the prisoners wore seat belts, and that it was following the orders of the U.S. Marshals Service, which does not make it mandatory for prisoners to wear seat belts.
Outcome: MVM agreed to settle for $2.25 million.
Quote: â€œHeâ€™s still a citizen, he didnâ€™t ask to be put in this position, he asked to be seat-belted. Does he deserve what he ultimately got, a life sentence in a wheelchair? Absolutely not,â€ Lipcon said.
â€œThis is tantamount to a death sentence.â€
Post-decision: Gonzalez is confined to a wheelchair. Medical reports from prison doctors who treated him note that his condition is likely permanent.
$2.85 Million Dollar Settlement in Case of Bad Faith Claims Handling
Jan 01, 2012
Result: Settled before trial for $2.85 Million
Bad Faith Settlement
Case: Estate of Suarez v. J. Muniz and Allstate Insurance Company
Miami-Dade County Circuit Court, Honorable Jerald Bagley
Plaintiff's Attorneys: Lipcon & Lipcon. P.A., David W. Lipcon
In 2009, David W. Lipcon, of Lipcon & Lipcon, P.A., in Miami,
Florida, was hired by the parents of a 19-year-old girl who was killed by a
drunk driver. Christine, a college student home for vacation, was driving to her
parent's home in Coral Gables when a car ran through a red light at an
intersection, crashing into her, killing her instantly. The driver who ran the
light had been drinking at a local bar. He surrendered at the scene and was
charged with DUI Manslaughter. His insurance carrier refused to tender his
insurance policy limits of $100,000.00 to the family claiming the traffic light
was not red, and that he had the right of way, in spite of being legally
The family then hired Lipcon & Lipcon to represent them. David
Lipcon, who has over nineteen years of experience in wrongful death/personal
injury claims, was able to successfully obtain a settlement for the parents, of
$2.75 million over the policy limits. The case was settled during Mediation when
Lipcon brought in a team of bad faith and accident reconstruction
Bed Bug Infestation! Hotel Settles With Family Attacked by Bed Bugs While Sleeping!
Jan 01, 2011
Settled Before Trial
CASE: Keefe v. St. Augustine Hotel and Inn
Plaintiff Attorneys: Lipcon & Lipcon, P.A., David W. Lipcon
Facts and Allegations: Bed Bug Attack. Mrs. Keefe and her family were guests at the St. Augistine Hotel and Inn, in St. Augustine Florida, on July 21, 2011. They were vacationing to celebrate a family engagement. Some time during the night, Mrs. Keefe was attacked by a swarm of bed bugs that were infesting the mattress and sheets that she was sleeping on. When she awoke, she was in extreme pain and discomfort. Her body was covered with bites, from head to toe. Her face was swollen and disfigured. She sought immediate medical attention.
When the issue was brought up to the hotel, they denied that there were bugs infesting the room. They did, however, offer to take ten percent (10%) off of her bill! They did not offer to pay her medical bills or even refund her, in full, for her stay.
The family hired the law firm of Lipcon & Lipcon, P.A. Although the firm is located in Miami, they
specialize in Personal Injury Litigation throughout the state of Florida. Attorney David Lipcon reacted quickly by sending a team of investigators to the hotel. Negotiations with the hotels insurer began. After a few short weeks, the case was resolved. While the terms of the financial settlement remain
confidential, the family reports that they were extremely satisfied with the compensation, which included amounts for pain and suffering as well as emotional distress. Further, as a condition of the settlement, the hotel agreed to completely sanitize the entire property and implement a protocol of monitoring and sanitizing the hotel in case of future infestations.
At first the insurance company was resistant to negotiate a settlement. However, Mr. Lipcon
persisted. Based on his reputation of going to court and receiving favorable verdicts, the insurer, and the hotel, felt it was in their best interest to settle with the family.
Charter School Pays Policy Limits for Injury to Student
Jan 01, 2011
Settlement for full amount of insurance coverage
Case: A.R., a Minor v. Homestead Charter School
Court: Miami Dade County Circuit Court, 11th Judicial Circuit
Plaintiff’s Attorneys: David W. Lipcon, of Lipcon & Lipcon, P.A.
Facts and Allegations: Injury on school playground.
A.R. (name withheld to protect the identity of the minor) only 5 years old, was
a student at Homestead Charter School. On October 4, 2010, after it had rained
for hours, A.R.’s teacher brought the class outside to play on the school
playground. Despite being cautioned by other teachers that the monkey bars were
slippery and muddy, due to the rain, A.R.’s teacher allowed the children to play
on the monkey bars. When A.R. climbed to the top, because the bars were
slippery, his hands slipped, causing him to fall to the ground. The fall caused
him to fracture his forearm.
A.R.’s parents hired the Law Firm of Lipcon
& Lipcon, P.A., a law firm in Miami, Florida that specializes in personal
injury litigation. Lipcon’s investigation confirmed that other teachers at the
school did not allow their children to play on the monkey bars because of the
wet, dangerous condition.
The insurance company argued that the teacher
was not negligent and that there was no liability for children playing on
playground equipment. After months of negotiation, the lawyers at Lipcon &
Lipcon were able to convince the insurance carrier, for the school, to pay the
full amount of bodily injury coverage available.
Comments: The school was unavailable for comment.
David Lipcon stated that the family was very satisfied with the settlement and
that proceeds were placed in a restricted Guardianship Account for the benefit
of the child.
Ioannis Skordilis v. Celebrity Cruises, Inc.
Mar 01, 2009
$150,000.00 awarded to injured crewmember
PLAINTIFF ATTORNEY(S): Mitchell J. Lipcon and David W. Lipcon of Lipcon & Lipcon, PA
Ioannis Skordilis, Greek, second electrician aboard a Celebrity Cruises ship, was injured when he slipped and fell in the shipâ€™s stairway. He claimed that there was cleaning fluid on the steps that was not visible, causing him to fall and injure his shoulder. Mr. Skordilis was sent to Miami for medical care and treatment. He eventually underwent arthroscopic surgery of the shoulder. His orthopedic surgeon, Dr. John Wilkerson, felt that Mr. Skordilis made a partial recovery from his injuries but was limited in the amount of weight he could lift to 25 lbs. or less. Shipâ€™s regulations call for a shipâ€™s electrician to be able to lift at least 50 lbs. Therefore, Mr. Skordilis could no longer work on a ship. The Defendant claimed Mr. Skordilis could find a job, on shore, as an electrician.
RESULT: The case was settled just prior to trial for $150,000.00
E.D., Plaintiff, v. Miami Provisions, Inc. and Ralph De Collibus
Jul 08, 2008
PLAINTIFF ATTORNEY(S) David W. Lipcon and Mitchell J. Lipcon of Lipcon & Lipcon, PA
FACTS & ALLEGATIONS Plaintiff, 81, retired, was planning on meeting her grandson at the Burger King located at Collins Avenue near 183rd Street for breakfast. Plaintiff did not own a car and used public transportation for all her needs. She had just dropped off some mail at a nearby post office and was walking northbound on the sidewalk on Collins Avenue, heading for the restaurant. A Boar's Head delivery truck, owned by Miami Provisions Inc. and driven by Ralph De Cc-Anhui, was stopped at the stop sign at a shopping mall exit, facing Collins Avenue, intending to turn right (southbound). After making sure the truck was stopped, Plaintiff proceeded to walk in front of it, making it all the way across the nose of the vehicle, from its right to the left, before the truck started forward, hitting her and running over her left leg.
Plaintiff sued De Collibus and Miami Provisions for his negÂligent operation of a motor vehicle. Her lawyers contended that she had the right of way and had walked most of the way across the front of the truck before De Collibus negligently struck her.
The defense contended that Plaintiff was comparatively negÂligent. It contended that Plaintiff crossed in front of the large truck in a way that may have blocked the driver's view of her.
INJURIES/DAMAGES amputation, below-the-knee: crush injury, .foot
Plaintiffâ€™s left foot was crushed requiring multiple surgeries and eventually a below-the-knee amputation. Plaintiff sought damages for her medical bills and her past and future pain and suffering. RESULT The case settled pretrial for $990,000.
INSURER(S) Allstate Insurance Company
Baby Collects for Coffee Burns
Case : R. R. (a minor) v. Hamburger Restaurant (NAMES PROTECTED)
Court : Miami-Dade County, Circuit Court, 11th Judicial Circuit
Plaintiff’s Attorney : Lipcon & Lipcon, P.A.; David W. Lipcon, Esq.
FACTS AND ALLEGATIONS
R.R., a minor, only nine (9) months old at the time of the incident, was with his mother, grandmother and older sister at a Hamburger Restaurant in Dade County, Florida. The plan was for the family to go to the restaurant, have some lunch, and take the baby Christmas shopping for his very first time. The four (4) of them had gone up to the register, and ordered breakfast/lunch. Included with the order was a large cup of coffee. After placing the order, the family sat at a table. They were told that a waiter would be by soon with the food. R.R., was sitting on his mother’s lap, with his sister to the left, and his grandmother directly across the table. After a brief wait, the waiter skated up to the family’s table, carrying a tray. The server was very anxious and fast in how he placed the food on the table. He seemed to have been in a big rush. Without thinking of the danger, he negligently placed the large cup of coffee, scolding hot, and filled to the top, in front of the baby, and his mother (although it was the grandmother who ordered the coffee). Immediately after placing it, he turned, and then knocked over the hot coffee, spilling it all over the baby’s chest, arms, and legs.
The spill caused immediate burns and pain to the baby. Thinking quickly, the mother immediately removed the baby’s clothing, dried up the hot coffee and called 911. The baby was transported to the hospital for treatment.
R.R.’s mother, hired Lipcon & Lipcon, P.A., a Miami Law Firm that has been specializing in Personal Injury Litigation for decades. Mitchell J. Lipcon, Esq., now of counsel with the firm, has been practicing for over forty-eight (48) years. David W. Lipcon, Esq. has been practicing in this area of law for over twenty-two (22) years.
Almost a year after the incident, the case was finally settled for a confidential amount of money. The money is to be put in a structure/guardianship account which will grow significantly (and guaranteed a certain rate of return) until the baby turns eighteen (18). The settlement is protected by the court.
Result : Settled prior to the filing of a lawsuit.
Comments : David W. Lipcon stated, that while he cannot say the amount of the settlement, due to a confidentiality agreement, he is happy to report that the amount was so significant, that the baby will have a secure financial future which will include the ability to pay for college, grad school, housing, etc. The baby has made a very good recovery from the injuries and is expected to live a full and productive life, with little or no consequences from the incident.
Wrongful Death Settlement - Negligent Security
Case : Estate of Jane Doe v. ABC Homeowners Association
Jurisdiction : Miami-Dade County, Circuit Court
Attorneys : Lipcon & Lipcon, P.A., David W. Lipcon
Facts and Allegations : Wrongful Death, Negligent Security/Assault
Jane Doe (whose name is not listed here in order to protect the family) was a single mother of three (3) young children. Late one evening, she was walking home from work, towards her home, which is part of a homeowner's association, when she was robbed and gunned down, by unknown multiple assailants, who were driving through the area. The association is not enclosed and has no security gate or guards.
The family of Jane Doe hired Lipcon & Lipcon to investigate a potential Wrongful Death Claim against the Association for failing to provide security. David W. Lipcon, Esq., who, for the past twenty-two years, has specialized in personal injuries and wrongful death claims, such as this, immediately opened up an investigation into the incident. It was learned, during the investigation, that the association was a virtual hot-bed for criminal activity such as burglaries, robberies, assaults, car theft, and even homicides. Further investigation showed that although the Association was charging fees to the homeowners, it was doing almost nothing with the fees collected; certainly not providing security, or doing anything to prevent crime such as hiring guards, increasing police presence, adding security lighting, etc. After learning more of the facts, Lipcon filed his lawsuit.
The case was immediately settled after the lawsuit was filed.
While the case settled over "seven figures," the exact amount of the remains confidential. When asked about the Settlement, Lipcon explained, "Everybody understands no amount of money can bring back the childrens’ mother. But, at least their financial well-being will be secured for the rest of their lives. The guardian of the money will use the funds to pay for college and help the children live a productive and meaningful life. This money is their mother's legacy."
Result: Case settled after filing suit.
Victim of Sexual Attack at Resort Town Hotel - Case Settled
Case: Jane Doe v. (Hotel) and (Restaurant)
Jurisdiction: Circuit Court, Florida
Attorneys: Lipcon & Lipcon, P.A.; David W. Lipcon
Settlement Amount: Confidential (names of parties have bee omitted)
Facts and Allegations: Premises Liability/Negligent Security (Filing Date 2013,Settlement 2014)
Jane Doe, was visiting Florida on business (the name of the Plaintiff and the location of the incident is being kept private due to privacy concerns for the victim). The victim, a single mother, was staying at a local hotel in a Florida beach town. Upon arrival, while walking towards the room, she was approached by a man who was working for a local restaurant, handing out menus and coupons. The man was hired by the local restaurant to solicit customers on the street and on hotel properties. There was a brief conversation between the two, when she accepted one of the menus/coupons. A few hours later, the man returned to her room, climbing up to the second story balcony, breaking into her room and attacking her. After a long struggle, the victim was able to break free of the assailant and run to safety. The victim, hired the law offices of Lipcon & Lipcon, PA. David W. Lipcon, a Miami lawyer, well experienced in premises liability/negligent security cases, such as these, launched an investigation into the incident. He discovered that the assailant, hired by the restaurant, had a long and extensive criminal history including other incidences of aggravated battery and breaking and entering. Further investigation revealed that the hotel, where the victim was staying, had left a ladder where anybody from the street could gain easy access to the second story balconies.
A confidential settlement was first achieved against the hotel. Suit was later brought against the restaurant for, amongst other things, negligent hiring, retention and supervision of the employee. It was alleged by Lipcon that the restaurant failed to provide a proper background check, or in the alternative, completely ignored looking into the background of this violent offender.
After contentious litigation, a settlement was eventually reached with the restaurant, as well, just prior to trial. That settlement, pursuant to an agreement between the parties, must remain confidential.
Lipcon spoke to us, briefly, about the case: "I'd love to comment on the details of the attack and settlement but we are bound by confidentiality clauses not to do so. I will say that the settlement was enough to teach the hotel and restaurant operators a lesson - don't operate your business without being conscious of the safety of your customers and the public. Don't just hire the first person that walks through the door...do your job, investigate the background and character of who you are putting into the public to promote your business. And to the hotels and motels out there....take precautions for the safely of your guests. Everyone needs to stop being careless."