I was presented with a suit from a woman and her lawyer claiming she had received an infection from our salon and had to have her toe amputated. She not once has ever came in to address us with the situation nor is there any papers claiming she was ever in our salon(Credit card, receipts, sign ins, videos). Does she have a case?
Depending on what she can prove, she may have a case. You should turn the suit papers over to your general liability insurance carrier for your business. Assuming you have such coverage, your carrier will have the obligation to investigate this matter, defend you and indemnify you if necessary. You have an obligation to cooperate with your insurance company. Let them handle this matter for you, as that is why you pay them a premium.
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Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
She may, or she may not. All the information you are mentioning you will obtain it through a process in the suit called "Discovery" where you ask for documents, photographs, you send questions, etc., etc.,
It is extremely important to answer the suit though. You usually have 20 days to do so. If your business is insured for this type of thing you need to inform your insurance company right away. Sometimes your policy provides for your insurance to provide you (or your business) with a lawyer to defend against the suit. But you must move quick to protect your rights and your salon's rights.
Alejandro R. Lopez, Esq.
Law Office of Alejandro R. Lopez, P.A.
4465 Edgewater Dr.,
Orlando, Fla. 32804
E-mail: [email protected]
She very well may have a case against the salon if she can prove that the infection was caused by some act of negligence at the salon. She has no duty to contact you to address the situation before filing a lawsuit. I would suggest you hire a defense attorney and not try to handle this on your own.
This is not to be considered legal advice nor does an attorney-client relationship exist.
in Florida there is a four year statute of limitations. This means that the plaintiff has for years from the date of the alleged incident to file a lawsuit. Ordinarily the attorney representing the plaintiff would have attempted to obtain your insurance information and then make a claim directly to your insurance company. Your insurance company would then contact you asking you for your knowledge of what occurred.
Depending upon the amount of damages being claim a lawsuit of this type can be filed in small claims court all the way up to the Circuit Court. If the claim was filed in small claims it is more of an informal process and the plaintiff will have to present proof that the alleged acts of negligence took part at your shop.
In Circuit Court the process is more formal and if you have a lawyer he or she will demand from the other side to produce the very things you discussed. in any event if your insurance you need to advise your insurance company that you have been served with suit papers.
From the facts that you state, she does not appear to have a case. But that being said, you should never assume she cannot prove her case and should turn it over to your liability insurance carrier or hire your own attorney if you do not have insurance. There may be facts or information that you are not aware of at this point in time. I have seen frivolous sounding cases turn out to be valid and vice versa. That is why you need an attorney.
Even a "frivolous" case requires and deserves some attention and a response so that it does not become a genuine legal problem down the road.
Before relying on any legal advice on the internet or this forum, please double check with an attorney as the specific details of your case may affect the answer.
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