Parsley Contamination In Florida Due to Salmonella

California-based company Muranaka Farm Inc. is recalling over 1,000 cases of parsley which were distributed to over 10 states throughout the U.S. due to possible salmonella contamination. The company decided to recall the cases of 60-count parsley, bunched with a rubber band, lot code 0023909, when a sampling aided by the FDA showed signs of bacteria.

The Palm Beach Post reported that 60 cases of Parsley were distributed to Florida. There were also 35 cases delivered to Colorado, 574 to California, 278 in Texas, and 30 in Arizona, to name a few. So far no illnesses have been reported.

According to WebMD, there are 40,000 cases of salmonellosis reported every year in the U.S. Symptoms include fever, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. Most of the time, salmonella passes with time and with minor treatment such as drinking fluids to prevent dehydration, but in some cases it can lead to Reiter’s syndrome, which can lead to arthritis.

Cruise Ship Passenger Rescued Off Coast of South Florida

On September 3, a 34-year-old man who fell off a Carnival cruise ship was later rescued by a Disney cruise ship about 30 miles off the coast of Port St. Lucie, Florida. According to a story by, the man was aboard the Carnival Sensation and was treading water for about an hour and a half. The Disney Wonder and the U.S. Coast Guard responded to notification that the man had gone overboard and the man was rescued at about 12:45 a.m.

The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office determined that the man jumped off the boat from a stateroom balcony, according to MyFoxOrlando. One passenger said that they heard the man arguing with a woman, threatening to jump, shortly before he fell overboard. The Carnival ship stopped, and the crew attempted to send a rescue vessel, but it tipped over. The man was eventually brought back to Port Canaveral. He was taken to the hospital for evaluation.

Injury Board reports that Carnival has had eight people go overboard this year, and 38 since 2000, which is the most of any cruise line, according to Ross Klein, who runs the Cruise Junkie website. Incidents such as this are not uncommon to cruise lines. Last year, ABC News reported on a Florida woman, Jennifer Ellis Seitz, fell over the balcony of the Norwegian Pearl on Christmas night. A week later, an employee of the Carnival Sensation went overboard off the coast of Florida.

An expert also told ABC that in 2008, 16.8 million people took cruises, with 11 million being Americans. The concern is that most of these accidents occur on large commercial ships which carry thousands of people onboard. As ticket prices go down and trips become more popular and more available to younger guests, issues with excessive drinking and lack of supervision and safety become a great concern. However, cruise lines have responded with security cameras and increased training for personnel on board.

Cruising is especially an important issue in Florida, with its many ports in Tampa, Miami, and Canaveral, among others, and availability of cruises from all the major lines such as Norwegian, Carnival and Royal Caribbean. Because all cruise lines are not impervious to accidents, groups such as International Cruise Victims have formed to aid cruise victims by pushing for legislation and providing a forum for discussion and reporting on cruise accidents.

It is important to note that the handling of Cruise Ship Cases is a specialized area of Personal Injury Law. Most personal injury attorneys do not handle these cases on a regular basis and as such are not aware of the specific laws concerning cruise ship negligence cases. For example, in a typical personal Injury or negligence case, pursuant to Florida Stautes an injured party has four years from the date of injury in which to pursue his claim in a court of law. On the other hand, in a Cruise Ship negligence claim, the passenger ticket is viewed as a valid contract and contains a clause which places limits on the time and place of an injured passenger’s claim for injury. Pursuant to contract, an injured passenger has only one year from the date of injury in which to file a claim in a court of law for their injuries and most passenger ticket contracts also mandate that any lawsuit for personal injury must be filed in a specific forum; which is usually Miami Federal Court. Our firm is fully aware of the intricasies of cruise ship cases and has successfully represented numerous clients who have been injured in cruise ship accidents in the Miami Federal Court System.

New Evidence Found In Former MLB Player’s South Florida Auto Accident Case

A new videotape has been found which may aid former New York Yankee Jim Leyritz’s DUI manslaughter case which was to begin this September. In 2007, at about 3:19 a.m. in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, police claim that Leyritz was drunk and ran a red light, causing an auto accident and killing 30-year-old Freida Veitch of Plantation.

According to the Miami Herald, the videotape, recorder a half block from the accident from a light pole, reveals a time stamp which is sooner than what has been alleged, and could aid Leyritz’s defense by casting doubt on the toxicology results. The defense says that the earlier time span from which the accident occurred would call to question the effect that alcohol had on Leyritz’s driving.

If convicted, Leyritz could face 15 years in prison. He is currently out on bond awaiting trial which, because of the surfacing of this video, may be postponed until as late as January. Leyritz faced legal troubles earlier in July when his ex-wife accused him of domestic battery.

This story Jim Leyritz is unfortunately one of many similar stories of late putting the spotlight on the consequences of drunk driving in South Florida. In March, professional football player Donte Stallworth pled guilty to DUI in an auto accident in Miami Beach, which resulted in the death of a pedestrian. In July, actor Jeffrey Donovan, star of USA’s hit series ‘Burn Notice’ was also arrested in Miami Beach on suspicion of DUI when he almost hit a police car.

South Florida has been a hot spot for celebrities for many years, from professional athletes to stars of the stage and screen. Florida’s beaches and cities known for their nightlife such as Fort Lauderdale and Miami attract visitors from all over the world. However, average citizens and celebrities alike are all subject to the same laws and regulations. Every person is innocent until proven guilty in our legal system and each case must be looked at under its given circumstances. Florida’s laws are in place to assure us that our streets are safe, and that those violators, whether an everyday resident or a high-profile celebrity, will be punished fairly and without any preferential or unreasonably harsh treatment.

South Florida Doctor Sued for Penile Implant Injury

A man in the Miami-Dade area is suing an urologist for malpractice after undergoing a penile-implant surgery which resulted in an infection and the removal of most of the man’s penis.

According to the Miami Herald, 62-year-old Enrique Milla claims that South Florida urologist Dr. Paul Perito performed the surgery, done to treat erectile dysfunction, without informing him of the risks involved with penile implant procedures among people with diabetes. The procedure was done in August of 2007. An infection developed which led to gangrene, ultimately resulting in the removal of most of the man’s penis. Furthermore, Millas is now also unable to have sexual intercourse and must sit down to urinate.

Dr. Perito is based in Coral Gables, FL and is considered a leader in penile implant surgery. According to his website, Dr. Perito has performed over 2,000 penile implant surgeries, and “The Perito Penile Implant” was developed by the doctor through his many years of experience. Both sides differ on their opinion as to whether diabetes is a factor which would make such as surgery too risky to perform.

Auto Accident in Fort Lauderdale Kills Cyclist

A cyclist was found dead from an auto accident on Friday, August 28, in an auto accident which occurred shortly after midnight on State Road AIA in Fort Lauderdale. The Miami Herald reported that the cyclist was heading northbound when a Mercedes Benz, also headed northbound, collided with the cyclist.

Police had not released the man’s name because they had yet to notify the family. The cyclist was pronounced dead at Broward General Medical Center. Police continue to investigate whether the driver was under the influence at the time of the accident.

While driving under the influence is speculative in this case, it brings up a concern that Florida drivers are no stranger to. Concerns for drunk driving grow on holiday weekends, such as this weekend’s Labor Day. According to a study referred to in a previous blog entitled “Broward County auto accident puts eight in hospital”, last year there were 36 fatalities on Labor Day weekend, 12 of which were alcohol-related. That same study showed that, in 2008, there were 4,380 bicyclist injuries and 118 bicyclist fatalities in traffic accidents.

The Florida DMV calculates that, in 2006, there were 1,606 DUI convictions in Broward County and 1,824 convictions in Miami-Dade County. Statewide, there were 34,638 convictions. While this reflects an 8 percent decrease from 2005, the numbers are staggering.

However, Florida has enforced strict laws to crack down on drunk driving. Florida’s zero tolerance law enforces an automatic 6-month suspension for any driver under the age of 21 who has a blood alcohol level (BAL) higher than .02. The level for drivers over 21 is .08. The effect is that a driver under 21 in Florida cannot have a single drink of alcohol and get into a vehicle.

With warnings of DUI road stops and increased police force during these weekends, and the risk of serious and fatal injury, drivers are encouraged to do all that is necessary to prevent from driving under the influence. The abundance of taxis in large South Florida cities such as Miami have given drivers a safe alternative. For others, choosing a designated driver or finding activities that don’t involve alcohol will ensure a safe ride home for ourselves and for others as we celebrate a great Labor Day weekend.

South Florida Boomers to Pay $2.3 Million to Accident Victim

On Monday, August 31, a jury awarded 48-year-old Michael Livington of Boston, MA, $2.3 million for injuries he suffered at the Boomers! in Boca Raton, Florida.

According to the Palm Beach Post, the accident occurred on May 15, 2005, in which Livington fell from a 25-foot rock climbing-wall, due to a hydraulic cable falling from the top of the wall. Livington suffered a broken ankle, which had to be fused.

Boomers is a family entertainment center, home to many games and attractions such as go-karts, laser tag, and bumper boats. Boomers, with two South Florida locations – Boca Raton and Ft. Lauderdale – is owned by Palace Entertainment, which owns many other popular parks such as Wild Waters and Silver Springs, both located in Ocala, Florida.

Amusement parks have been a staple in America for many years, from the large world-renowned parks of Walt Disney World “need to link to Disney article” to smaller establishments such as Boomers. In 2007, a survey by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions showed that 1,309 ride-related injuries occurred, with 35 considered “serious”.