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Leesfield & Partners Wants You To Stay Safe This Summer. Here Are A Few Summer Safety Tips.

In the same way as the popular saying, “April showers bring May Flowers,” summertime liberties can breed several injuries. 

Though it might not be as catchy, the latter is no less true. With an increase in outdoor activities, recreation, and travel, the warmer season has a propensity for injury. With the warm and sunny weather outside and school out for anywhere between two and three months for summer vacation, many families take the opportunity to travel, go on cruises, and or try recreational activities they are not accustomed to in their everyday lives such as go-karting, parasailing, or jet skiing.

Cruise Ship Injuries 

As a law firm operating in Miami, which is home to Port Miami, the busiest cruise port in the world and often dubbed “the cruise capital of the world,” Leesfield & Partners has seen thousands of cases involving cruise line injuries. These injuries have involved everyone aboard a ship from staff and crew to passengers from slips and falls to violent crimes and medical malpractice. 

In Miami, cruises are offered year-round but summertime is known by many as being the high season with most of the crowded ships sailing into port from mid-July to early August. In 2023, approximately 7.3 million passengers went through the port shattering pre-COVID-19 numbers. Before that, the record for the most passengers in a single year was 6.8 million passengers in 2019. The addition of eight new ships and the ability for ships to plug into shore power is sure to attract more cruise lines to the area including Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas, the largest cruise ship in the world with the capacity to carry almost 8,000 passengers. The inclusion of larger ships with more daring and dangerous onboard amenities multiplies the potential for hazards. 

In its attorneys’ decades of representing clients and crew against the cruise line industry, Leesfield & Partners has been privy to the grief of families and watched clients as they desperately try to overcome the avoidable hurdles put in front of them by negligence and greed. Such has been the case with numerous cruise ship medical malpractice lawsuits filed by the firm including that of a 9-month-old baby girl whose meningitis was misdiagnosed as a stomach bug. Instead of seeing the signs of the bacterial infection and administering the proper antibiotic, doctors cluelessly allowed the child’s condition to worsen which resulted in her becoming a triple amputee. A multi-million settlement was reached for the family in that case. 

Another man who fell victim to the incompetence of a cruise ship’s medical staff was a crew member who went to the infirmary for nausea. The doctors there ordered the maximum allowable dose of 25 mg of Promethazine by intravenous injection. In actuality, the correct method of administering this drug is deep into the muscular tissue. The man was in immense pain immediately and, 17 hours of agony later, was allowed to get off the ship and go to a local hospital. There, it was determined that his right arm had to be amputated. A $3,337,500 award was achieved by Leesfield & Partners attorneys for the man in that case. 

Parasailing and Jet Skiing 

Though zooming over sparkling Florida waters or peering down at them from the sky above sounds like a pleasant way to spend a scorching summer afternoon, oftentimes, they can result in tremendous injury. In a Daily Business Review article published this month by Leesfield & Partners Trial Lawyer and Partner, Justin B. Shapiro, the curtain was pulled back on the South Florida jet ski business. Though the watercraft rental companies, typically stationed on the sand in tiki huts or counters with colorful advertisements, tout the jet skis as being operator-friendly, they’re no novice toy. The jet skis’ lack of breaks, the strength needed to maintain a grip on its handlebars and unpredictable ocean conditions make it a more difficult machine to operate than one might believe. 

One case handled by the law firm involved a French tourist in Key West who was not given a proper run-through of the required training before he was given access to the dangerous watercraft. In the end, the tourist ended up crashing into the wife of a man represented by Leesfield & Partners in a later lawsuit, killing her. That case resulted in a multi-million settlement for the grieving husband. 

In over five years, Leesfield & Partners attorneys have secured over $10 million in awards for injured clients and their families involved in jet ski accidents.

Injuries incurred during parasailing excursions is another area where Leesfield & Partners attorneys have expertise. One case handled by the law firm on behalf of a mother and daughter who were on a parasailing excursion offered by their cruise ship resulted in tragedy. The mother was killed and the daughter suffered a traumatic brain injury in that incident. Attorneys secured a $7,250,000 award in that case. 

Summer Safety Tips 

While summer activities are the backbones that family memories rest upon, they are too often the cause of immense tragedy. Below is a list of summer safety tips to be used when out on the water or traveling. 

Water Safety

  • Make sure all external doors leading to a pool area or body of water like a lake or ocean are equipped with proper locks and alarms that way, even if a child manages to unlock the door, you will know that it has been opened. 
  • Dress children in brightly colored swimsuits so that, if the unthinkable happens, they are easier to spot in the water. 
  • Never leave a child unattended near a body of water. 
  • Children who cannot swim should always wear a life vest and be in the water with an adult. 
  • All pools should be equipped with child safety fences and locks. 
  • Invest in swim classes and water safety courses for children and adults. No one expects tragedy, but knowing what to do in case of an emergency can save a life. 
  • Take a CPR course to know what to do in case of an emergency.
  • Keep toys away from the pool when not in use to prevent children from falling into the water when potentially trying to reach for them. 
  • Always completely remove a pool cover before jumping in to use the pool

Boating Safety

  • Never drink and boat.
  • Never go out boating without telling someone what area you are headed to and when they can expect you to be back. This is so that, in case of an emergency, someone will know that you did not return and can give rescue teams an area to begin searching for you. 
  • Take a boating education course
  • Carry life vests approved by the Coast Guard for every person on board. Children should wear a life vest at all times when on a boat. 
  • Take advantage of free annual boat inspections offered by the U.S. Coast Guard. 
  • Never drink and boat
  • Keep necessary emergency kits on board that include essential items like flare guns, fire extinguishers and first-aid kits. 
  • Never let children operate a personal watercraft. 
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