Friday, July 26, 2013

State and Local Government Agencies Pay Statutory Maximum to Victim of Trip and Fall on Broken Sidewalk

Legal Business Review,
Staff Writer;  July, 2013

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.

Result: Settled before suit was filed, for full amount of benefits available.

David W. Lipcon has been a practicing litigation attorney in Miami-Dade County for over twenty years. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Florida in 1989, and, his Law degree at the University of Florida School of Law in 1992. He is admitted to the Florida Bar, the Colorado State Bar, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, and, the Trial Bar of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. He is a member in good standing of the Florida Justice Association (formerly, the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers), Dade County Trial Lawyers Association, American Bar Association, Dade County Bar Association, and, served as Chairperson of The Florida Bar's Grievance Committee for the 11th Judicial Circuit. David is a founding partner of The Florida Foreclosure Defense Lawyers.
David Lipcon has been awarded an "AV" rating (the highest possible) for both ethics and legal skills by Martindale-Hubbell, one of the nation’s oldest and most respected attorney rating companies. This rating is based upon a peer review process involving Florida attorneys and judges.  He was awarded a "10.0 - Superb" and is among the highest rated lawyers from Avvo ).

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Estate Of Mother, Killed By Drunk Driver, Settles Wrongful Death Claim Against Miccosukee Indian Tribe Members

Legal Business Review, Staff Writer
January, 2013

Case: Estate of VB v. Lucan Billy Frank and Agnus Frank (2010-57868 CA 01)

Jurisdiction:  Miami-Dade County Circuit Court, Honorable Gisela Cardonne Ely

Attorneys: Lipcon & Lipcon, P.A.; David W. Lipcon

Facts and Allegations: Wrongful Death/Vehicular Homicide/DUI Manslaughter.

VB, mother of three adult children, and one minor child, was a Dade County Public School bus driver.  She was killed when she was attempting to make a left hand turn into the Miami Dade School Bus Compound.  She was approaching her turn, with the right of way, when she was crashed into by a drunk driver who ran his red light. The crashed caused VB to be ejected from her vehicle. She died at the scene.

The Defendant, Lucan Billy Frank, had been out all night drinking at a local "Gentleman’s Club." He was apparently on his way home, still drunk. After he crashed into VB’s vehicle, he fled his car, and the scene of the accident, running into a nearby wooded area.  The police established a perimeter and eventually apprehended him. Police arrested Frank, charging him with vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of an accident involving a death, DUI manslaughter and failure to render aid.

Unfortunately,  Frank, and his mother, Agnes, the owner of the vehicle (and civilly liable along with the driver of her vehicle), maintained only a small liability insurance policy of $35,000.00. 

The family of the victim hired David Lipcon, of the law firm Lipcon & Lipcon, P.A., who specializes in personal injury cases in the South Florida area.  Lipcon made sure that the insurance company quickly tendered those policy limits to the family.  Knowing that the recovery was hardly sufficient to compensate the victim's family, Lipcon quickly opened up an investigation and then brought a law suit against the Frank family. 

Mr. Lipcon tells us that collecting money judgments and damages, outside of the available insurance limits in Florida, is usually unlikely.  Most people in the State are "judgment proof" as Florida is one of the friendliest States in the nation, to a debtor. 

The Franks are members of the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida.  Lipcon learned, through his investigation, of a "stipend" that the Miccosukee Indian Tribe pays its tribe members. This was difficult, considering the Miccosukees are the only tribe in the continental United States that does not disclose the amount of the stipend that each member receives. After lengthy litigation, and negotiation, the case was finally settled for an undisclosed amount. This settlement is widely considered the first of its kind, as the Tribe is well known not to acknowledge the stipend funds. 

Due to confidentiality clauses in the settlement, Mr. Lipcon would not tell us how much the family of VB received, who paid, or whether the funds where provided by the Miccosukee Indian Tribe. He was able to tell us, however, that the children of VB received a significant settlement amount, enough to take care of the family for generations.  Lipcon does not believe that any similar settlement has ever been achieved before, involving the Miccosukee Indians, and is not aware of any similar case that is currently on-going.

Result:  Settled just weeks before trial for an undisclosed amount.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Family Killed By Drunk Driver Receives $2.75 Million Over Policy Limits

Lipcon & Lipcon, P.A. (www.LipconLawFirm.com)

Bad Faith Settlement

$2.85 million dollar settlement in case of Bad Faith claims handling.

Case: Estate of Suarez v. J. Muniz and Allstate Insurance Company

Court: 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 drunk.

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 experts.

Result: Settled before trial for $2.85 Million

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Bed Bug Infestation! Hotel Settles With Family Attacked by Bed Bugs While Sleeping

Legal Business Review, Staff Writer
April 18, 2012

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.

Result: Settled Before Trial

Playground Injury - Case Settled

Charter School Pays for Injury to Student
Florida Legal Business Review, Staff Writer
An independent legal reporting newspaper

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.

Results: Settlement for full amount of insurance 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.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Miami-Dade County Pays Statutory Maximum to Injured Pedestrian

Florida Legal Business Review, Staff Writer
An independent legal reporting newspaper

CASE:
T.E. and R.E., his Wife, vs. Miami-Dade County, a Political Subdivision of the State of Florida and Geico Indemnity Company

Court: Miami-Dade County Circuit Court, 11th Judicial Circuit

Plaintiff Attorneys: Lipcon & Lipcon, P.A.

Facts and Allegations: Pedestrian Knockdown. T.E., a man in his early 70's, retired, was crossing an intersection in the crosswalk, when he was struck my a Metro-Bus making a right turn. He was transported, by fire rescue, to Jackson Memorial Hospital Trauma Center with injuries to his left knee. He came under the care of Dr. James Mayoza, an orthopedic surgeon. MRI to his knee revealed a lateral meniscus tear which led to a total knee replacement. Defendant County claimed the knee injury and surgeries were not related to the accident, based upon pre-existing osteoarthritis (aging). The claims were denied by the County.

T.E. hired Lipcon & Lipcon, P.A., a Miami law firm that specializes in personal injury litigation, after two other firms declined to represent him. Lipcon & Lipcon promptly filed a lawsuit against Miami-Dade County, in addition to demanding payment, in full, of T.E.'s uninsured/underinsured insurance limits from his automobile policy. After almost a year of litigation which included numerous depositions of witnesses and medical experts, the County and T.E.'s insurance carrier both tendered the full amount of their policy limits (just days before trial).

RESULT: Settlement for full bodily injury and uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance limits.

Comments: David Lipcon stated that this isn't the first time he has represented a client that was declined representation from other lawyers who do not have adequate experience analyzing personal injury claims. After meeting with investigators and reviewing the medical reports, he felt confident he would achieve a good result for T.E. and his family.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"Mosh Pit" Lawsuit Filed Against Concert Promoter

Florida Legal Business Review, Staff Writer
July 20, 2010

“Steven” (a minor, who’s name is protected due to his age) said he and his cousin went to Miami’s Bayfront Park last Summer for an afternoon of listening to music. In fact, it was “Steven’s” first concert, ever. When he arrived at the “Warped Tour” show, things started out nicely and calmly. “Steven”, being timid and small (standing 5’7” tall and weighing a mere 100 pounds) kept to himself and stayed in the background, choosing not to mix too much with the crowd that was getting rowdier and more unruly as the show went on. Maybe it was the July heat, or simply the music, but things slowly, yet surely, got out of control. It began with the bottle fights, then the crowd surfing and eventually the mosh pits. It all happened so quickly.

The then-17-year-old music lover couldn't escape the crowd that he said attacked him, grabbing him from behind, picking him up and throwing him into the phenomenon known as the “mosh pit.” Unfortunately for “Steven”, when he was picked up and thrown into the crowd, nobody bothered to catch him. He landed violently on the ground. He was trampled on top of it. He never stood a chance.

He suffered multiple broken bones, including fractures of both his shoulders, and had to undergo surgery to repair the damage.

A lawsuit was filed last week by his attorney, David W. Lipcon, against the concert promoter, Live Nation, and the company hired to provide security/crowd control at the show. Lipcon alleges that the crowd became so unruly and wild, that these spontaneous “mosh pits” formed. In fact, Lipcon says, “the mosh pits and crowd surfing are encouraged by the promoter; it’s part of the concert’s allure. The Warped Tour has a well documented history of allowing its crowd to get out of control. Excessive drinking is commonplace. My client was there simply to hear the music and enjoy himself. He was a child. He never expected to be assaulted by the concert goers.”

The case will be heard in front of Judge Victoria S. Sigler, in the Circuit Court of Miami-Dade County.