Every year, hundreds of cases are brought to court involving death or injury caused by electrocution. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 7% of all work-related deaths are electrocutions. In 2010 alone, 4,547 people died from fatal work injuries in the U.S., 437 of those resulting from electrocution according to the 2010 Bureau of Labor Statistics report on fatal occupational injuries. Death by electrocution is common in many fields of employment. According to the CDC, the occupations with the highest rates of electrocution include electricians, painters, truck drivers, utility line workers, and any laborer in general. Construction workers alone make up 40% of electrocution-caused deaths in the U.S. Such dangerous and even fatal accidents are sometimes the fault of a third party. For example, workers are sometimes exposed to un-insulated overhead power lines and were not informed that they posed a hazard to their health. In other cases, the cause can be non-compliance with the National Electrical Code, which results in workers coming in contact with an energized circuit that has not been properly maintained. Boomed vehicles (with extendable arm) can also come in contact with a power line due to non-compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) clearance distances, resulting in injury. Improperly installed or damaged equipment such as improper grounding, or non-compliance with OSHA standards during the movement or transfer of conductive equipment are also causes of common electrocution accidents. In addition, electrocution can affect anyone. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) identifies 86% of all electrocution injuries in the home to involved 1-4-year-old children.
Maritime Cruise Ship Liability
In 2011, Mr. Villasante was retained by prominent Freeport attorney, Jacy Whittaker, to investigate legal action against Carnival Cruise Line’s mistreatment of a family who had been scammed by a fraudulent travel agent. When the Edden family of 39 purchased their Carnival vacation with Morris Travel agency, the sales representative issued Fun Ship Cards but did not pay the cruise line for all of their fares. Unknowing of this, the Edden family flew from Freeport, the Bahamas to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to board their ship, only to find out at the port terminal that they did not have confirmed reservations. Instead, the family was separated and treated with hostility; ten of the family members were forced to sit in a roped off area, and Carnival representatives even threatened to take their mug shots, fingerprints and hand them over to the police. While these ten family members were abandoned in Ft. Lauderdale with no accommodations or explanations, the remainder of the family was allowed to board the cruise ship. However, their rooms were not what they expected. One young woman in a wheelchair with spina bifida was assigned a non-wheelchair-accessible cabin, which forced her to leave her chair outside and crawl to her room. After the family had been sailing for five days, Carnival finally discovered that the credit card used to pay for their fares was fraudulent. The cruise staff proceeded by demanding $17,000 immediately from the family members and threatened their arrest once they reached South Florida. They were not even allowed to leave the ship when it had docked at Nassau. Once the family was back home in Freeport, they hired local attorney Whittaker from Whittaker and Parris law firm to represent them in a lawsuit against Carnival Cruise Line. Thereafter, Mr. Whittaker retained Mr. Villasante and together they are currently working on a settlement that will be more than satisfactory to the Edden family.
Medical and Hospital Negligence
Medical malpractice is defined as negligence committed by a health care professional, which results in injury or death to the patient. Medical malpractice can be caused by a negligent act or omission of a necessary procedure or treatment. Essentially, malpractice is decided by whether or not the health care provider violated his duty of care within the prevailing medical standard. The patient under the law can be eligible for compensation if the case is proved to be bona fide medical malpractice. Medical malpractice is also restricted by a statute of limitations meaning a medical malpractice case must be filed within a certain time period after the incident or it is barred. Mr. Villasante has tried a number of Medical Malpractice cases to resolution by Verdict including a 42 year old father of who died due to a failure to timely diagnose and treat meningitis, a 29 year old woman’s wrongful hysterectomy and sterilization, and a structured settlement on behalf of a 2 year old child misdiagnosed at an emergency room whose untreated meningitis resulted in a lifelong vegetative state.