P.I. Pulse: Recent News in the World of Personal Injury Law


This week, we are taking the world of personal injury law by land, air and sea. Our first story has to do with a man being held liable for damages his dogs have caused. Our second has to do with an incident that took place on an airplane—an incident for which an airline is being sued. Finally, our third story emanates from an episode on board a cruise ship (yes, you’ve got that right – another cruise ship catastrophe).

Let’s start on the ground. Recently, a dog owner was arrested – and charged with murder – after dogs that he owned attacked and killed a jogger. Yes, you heard that correctly. No, the man didn’t actually kill the individual in the incident. However, while murder charges are extremely rare in the cases of dog-caused deaths, in many states, including Florida, individuals may be held liable for the damages caused by their dogs, despite knowledge of the dog’s violent nature or of the dog’s previous viciousness. In this particular case, the damage that was caused by the dog was the death of a jogger. Thus, the owner of the dogs was arrested. Some legal experts have weighed in and opined that they do not expect the man arrested to be charged with first degree murder unless it can be proven that he, in essence, instructed and encouraged the dogs to maul the jogger to death. This story should hit home here in Florida, where the law clearly states that a dog owner can be held liable for the damage that their dog causes. Just as children are reflections of their parents, pets can be viewed as extensions of the household from which they come. As such, because no dog can be tried or sued in a court of law, the culpability often resides with the owner(s).

Next in personal injury law news, let’s go up in the sky. In May, a United Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing and now they’re facing a lawsuit, all of which stems from a chaotic incident which took place during the flight: a woman with a peanut allergy became unable to breathe after a passenger behind her opened a bag of peanuts. Peanut allergies are incredibly serious and can cause people to have horrible reactions, including death, if brought into contact with the nut. So, why is this a legal issue more than just a horrible occasion? The woman was apparently told by an employee of United Airlines that an announcement would be made, on board, making other passengers aware of the woman’s condition – ostensibly, this would have precluded other passengers from eating foods that contained peanuts, thereby preventing the whole incident from ever having occurred. Unfortunately, the announcement was never made on board the flight and the woman almost paid for the airline’s mistake with her life. Now, she is suing them for failing to accommodate her by making the passengers aware of her life-threatening condition, as they said they would. Negligence can come in many forms, and this is one of them. When people are packed into an airplane at 35,000 feet, they put a lot of trust in the airline charged with safely operating the plane. Plane safety goes beyond averting crashes – it also entails ensuring the well being of the passengers on board the flight, a standard United Airlines failed to meet.

Finally, we take you out to sea. Over the past couple of years, there seem to have been an awful lot of stories relating to cruise ship adventures gone wrong – a cruise ship capsizes in Italy, another loses electricity for days on end in the Atlantic Ocean, etc. Recently, disaster struck the world of cruise liners again, affirming the realization that sometimes cruise ship voyages aren’t as luxurious as they’re portrayed to be. In late May, Royal Caribbean’s “Grandeur of the Seas” caught fire and flames began to burn as passengers slept quietly in the wee hours of the night. While no horrible injuries were reported, it can be assumed that the damage caused by the fire was no minor inconvenience, as it was bad enough to force the operating company to cancel the rest of the cruise and fly the passengers home from the Bahamas, near where the fire took place, to Baltimore, MD, where the cruise began.  We will keep you posted on whether or not any lawsuits stem from this scary incident on the high seas, as many lawsuits have been filed in the past against cruise ship companies in similar situations.

If you have any questions about these of any other personal injury issues, please feel free to contact us at the Law Offices of Aronberg & Aronberg by calling 561-266-9191 or emailing daronberg@build.simple.biz.

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