Articles Posted in Liability

While sexual harassment can sometimes be difficult for victims to discuss, it is important to understand whether you may be eligible for financial compensation to cover your damages. Even though you may be intimidated or afraid of the repercussions that may occur by reporting sexual harassment, it could be very beneficial to hire a licensed lawyer to discuss your legal options.

Sexual abuse and harassment usually occurs at the workplace and victims can often suffer in more ways than one. Besides the physical and emotional toll, victims can suffer financially in regards to their employment status. If you and your lawyer can prove your sexual harassment claim, you could be eligible to hold your employer liable for your suffering.

If you or someone you care for was the victim of sexual harassment in the West Palm Beach area, we recommend contacting Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers today to schedule a no-cost initial consultation (by appointment). Your information is always kept private and there is no obligation to retain our legal services.

Sexual assault and abuse continues to be a growing problem in every town and city across America, including in West Palm Beach, Florida. Victims of sexual assault are often left with physical and psychological damage that could last a lifetime. 

Although many would disagree, it is possible for a woman to be found guilty for a sexual assault crime just as a man could. Whether the assault was committed against another female or male, the punishment is the same and the perpetrator could face harsh penalties and possible prison time, depending on the details of the situation. Oftentimes, a third-party is involved with a sexual assault case, which means you may need to file multiple sexual abuse claims against the at-fault parties. 

This is why it is important to speak to a qualified attorney about a sexual abuse claim. Hiring a lawyer at the law firm of Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers could help you hold the abuser(s) at-fault and seek the proper amount of compensation you may be justified to receive. If your claim has merit, you could recover funds to pay for medical care, including psychological assistive therapies, lost wages if you were unable to work due to the assault, pain and suffering associated with the crime, and any other financial losses related to the incident.

Many negligent security cases involve a property owner’s liability for failing to adequately secure property from foreseeable third-party criminal activity that causes harm to a resident or other visitor. However, the Sun Sentinel recently reported on the 1.5 million-dollar settlement of a case that presented a more novel theory of negligence in the area of apartment security, which involved the failure of a property management company to adequately screen residents, one of whom eventually murdered another.

This case arose from the tragic shooting of a former Marine in the parking lot of an apartment complex in Plantation, Florida on July 17, 2012. The former Marine was a resident of the apartment complex, and the murderer, as noted above, also resided at the complex. Witnesses at the time of the murder said they were unaware of any preexisting grievance between the two residents. However, the murderer had been a resident at a different apartment complex in Plantation, managed by the same property management company that managed the apartment complex where the murder occurred. The murderer had been evicted from the first property for causing disturbances and making death threats against other tenants. Information regarding the murderer’s eviction was part of a background investigation performed by the management company, but this background check was never reviewed before the decision to permit the murderer to rent an apartment was made. Following the murder, the Marine’s widow brought a wrongful death suit against the property management company, arguing that the management company failed to exercise reasonable care in its evaluation of prospective tenants and that this breach of reasonable care led to the death of her husband.

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Typically, the thought of conceding liability in a negligence suit runs counter to conventional legal strategy. In fact, attorneys often spend considerable time trying to counteract even banal admissions that occur prior to formal litigation that could be construed as declarations of liability. However, a recent case coming from Florida’s Second District Court of Appeals demonstrates how a proactive admission of guilt can occasionally work in a defendant’s favor.

In Swanson v. Robles, the Second District Court of Appeals held that allowing evidence of a defendant’s drug use during the first phase of a trial when the defendant had already admitted liability for both compensatory and punitive damages was reversible error. The case arose from a traffic accident in October 2008. A truck being driven by the defendant struck a vehicle owned by the City of Tampa and a city employee who was unloading traffic counters at the rear of the vehicle. The city employee died immediately following the collision, and his estate brought a wrongful death action against the driver, seeking both compensatory damages for the deceased’s widow and compensatory and punitive damages for the estate. The defendant brought a motion to bifurcate the trial, so that evidence of his drug use (Xanax, methadone, and marijuana) would not be admitted and prejudice the jury. In light of his admission of liability, the defendant argued that such evidence was no longer probative with respect to determining whether or not he was liable for compensatory damages and punitive damages or for determining the amount of compensatory damages. The evidence was not excluded, and the defendant brought an appeal, arguing that permitting the evidence was in error.

The Second District Court of Appeal agreed. The Court found that, since the defendant had conceded liability with respect to both compensatory and punitive damages, evidence of his drug use was no longer relevant for determining liability for either sort of damages or with respect to determining the amount of compensatory damages. Although compensatory damages include “pain and suffering,” the court held that possible knowledge of drug use was not probative for determining the amount of damages reflecting loss of companionship and protection. In addition, the court held that, while evidence of drug use may be probative with respect to determining the amount of punitive damages, the amount of those damages would be handled in the second stage of the bifurcated trial, and thus the evidence of the drug use only served to inflame the jury during the first stage and lead to a possibly higher assessment of compensatory damages.

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