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5 Things To Know About Nursing Home Neglect Claims

Given the high numbers of older adults in Florida, including residents who live in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities across the state, it is important to understand how nursing home negligence claims work. Our team of experienced nursing home neglect lawyers want to provide you with some guiding information.1. Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Can Take Many Different Forms You should know that nursing home abuse and neglect can take many different forms. As such, the signs and symptoms of abuse can vary widely. Abuse or neglect may include physical abuse, psychological abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, intentional deprivation, and unintentional neglect. It may be possible to file a nursing home neglect claim when any of these forms of abuse results in injuries.2. Nursing Home Negligence Claims Can Be Filed By the Injured Nursing Home Resident or By a Family Member in the Event of a Fatal Injury Who files the claim will depend upon a few factors. An injured nursing home resident may be able to file a lawsuit herself. However, if nursing home abuse results in fatal injuries, an estate must be opened. The personal representative of the estate must bring the claim on behalf of the statutory survivors.3. Claims Must Be Filed within a Specific Time Window Nursing home abuse claims must be filed within a particular amount of time. The statute of limitations for nursing home abuse claims, as well as wrongful death claims, in Florida is four years.4. Certain Types of Nursing Home Abuse Injuries Are On the Rise The most common nursing home abuse injuries we see, on an increasing basis, in our practice include bedsores, falls, and overmedication.5. Nursing Home Residents Have Rights Under Florida Law It is essential to understand that nursing home residents in Florida have rights under state law. According to Section 400.022 of Florida Statutes, nursing home residents have the right to:civil and religious libertiesprivate and uncensored communicationconsent to a particular party’s accesspresent grievancesorganize and participate in groups at the facilityparticipate in religious or social or community activitiesexamine the results of facility inspectionsmanage their own financial affairsbe fully informed of services at the nursing home facility and accompanying chargesbe fully informed of their medical condition and proposed treatmentrefuse medication or treatmentprivacy in treatmenttreated courteouslybe free from mental and physical abuse, physical and chemical restraintsamong many other rights.A facility’s violation of these rights may result in a claim.Contact a Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Stuart and Wellington, FloridaIf you have questions or concerns about nursing home abuse or neglect, or if you need help filing a nursing home negligence claim, one of the experienced lawyers at Lesser, Lesser, Landy and Smith can help. Contact us at 561-655-2028 for more information.

‘Significant Growth’ Opportunities abound for legal profession in Palm Beach

By Gary S. Lesser What is the state of the legal sector in Palm Beach County? The legal profession has been experiencing significant growth. Overall, the legal industry has some great opportunities in Palm Beach County. As a firm, we have experienced astronomical growth. We established and expanded our footprint over the last couple of years and we are now handling cases in Tallahassee, Tampa, and Orlando among other areas across the state. As a firm that doesn’t advertise, we get all our clients through referrals and word-of-mouth. I am very proud that our firm has been fortunate to experience this significant growth. We are a law firm that is really committed to the community, and we will be able to take advantage of the fact that so many people are moving into our area. As a personal injury law firm, we are fortunate that we are pretty embedded in the community after 96 years. Certainly, we are supporting the business and nonprofit communities, and I think that is the key for law firms that want to have a meaningful impact and grow. You must be involved and connected in the community, especially in this time of off-the-charts growth. Palm Beach County has the 10th-largest school district in the country, which tells you everything about its growth rate. There is a lot of opportunity for firms that want to engage in their community and with members of the business community. What issues are your clients facing right now and how are you addressing them? The biggest challenge we are seeing as a county, not just my clients, is the lack of affordable housing. An increasing fraction of our staff do not live in Palm Beach County, and I am hearing this from other law firms as well. They are spending 30 minutes to an hour commuting each way. We went back to a hybrid work model where employees can work up to two days from home because it makes no sense for people to be spending two to three hours on the road every day. I know the county is attempting to drill down on this, but affordable housing is the No. 1 issue facing every business here. School districts are struggling with this, as well. They are trying to recruit teachers but where will they live? How is diversity and equity being made a priority for the firm? We have been involved in DEI issues for as long as we can remember. We were a founding firm of the diversity internship program of the Palm Beach County Bar Association. The legal community in Palm Beach County has always been very forward looking and the firm has always been involved.I had the great honor of receiving the Judge Ed Rodgers Diversity Award from the Palm Beach County Bar Association a few years ago for some of the efforts I have been involved with. There are a few things we are drilling down on. One is greater support of our public school system and getting more involved with the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County. As an organization, we provide resources to students and teachers who might go without them otherwise. Backpacks are delivered to Title One schools where two-thirds of students are on free or reduced lunch, which is a good economic marker. We know these kids may not have the same opportunities as others, so our backpacks are full of basic school supplies. I am also getting very involved in two organizations that fight antisemitism and racism, as that is very clearly needed in our current times. This article appeared in the Invest: Palm Beach 5th Anniversary Edition, which is published by Capital Analytics Associates, LLC.

Firm Attorneys honored as Top Lawyers

Congratulations to our Managing Partner Gary Lesser and Partners Joseph Landy, Jeffrey Gordon, and Joshua Ferraro, who were recognized as Top Lawyers by Jupiter Magazine and Stuart Magazine.  The attorneys were chosen by their peers as the most trusted and experienced lawyers in the Palm Beach County and Martin County area.   We thank them for giving their time and talent to helping our clients and making our community even stronger.                                                             

Attorney Imani M. Williams selected for “Top 40 Under 40” Award

 West Palm Beach, FL – Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith is pleased to announce that Firm Attorney Imani M. Williams has been selected as a Top 40 Under 40 Trial Attorney by the National Trial Lawyers. The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 is a professional organization composed of the top trial lawyers from each state or region who are under the age of 40. Membership into The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 under 40 is by invitation only and is extended exclusively to those trial lawyers practicing civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense law. “It is an honor and privilege to have been selected for this recognition,” Williams said. “I look forward to continuing to grow professionally and personally as I serve our clients, the legal profession and the community.” Williams, 29, joined the West Palm Beach Office of Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith in September 2023 and focuses her practice on personal injury cases. She is a member of The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors for the 15th Judicial Circuit, as well as the Palm Beach County Justice Association Young Lawyers Board of Governors. She is the Young Lawyers Section Chair for the F. Malcolm Cunningham Bar Association and volunteers her time with the National Coalition of 100 Black Women and Speak Up for Kids Palm Beach County. “We continue to be impressed with the great work Imani does for our clients and our community,” Managing Partner Gary S. Lesser said. “She is most deserving of this recognition from the National Trial Lawyers.”  

Lesser Law Firm Donates More Than $350,000 to Community Organizations

From education and arts to legal aid and fostering youth, Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith provided more than $350,000 in financial support to nearly 100 charitable and civic organizations in Palm Beach and Martin counties in 2023. Among the many highlights: The Firm was the Presenting Sponsor of the American Cancer Society’s Men Wear Pink Campaign in Palm Beach County, and Managing Partner Gary Lesser served as an ambassador to the fundraising effort. Lesser served as Co-Chair of the annual Sen. Philip D. Lewis Center Luncheon benefiting the Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County, and on the host committees for I am Hillel benefiting Hillel of Broward and Palm Beach and the ADL Partners Against Hate Jurisprudence & Community Champion Awards. Lesser is also an ardent supporter of the American Jewish Committee and the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, where he sits on the Board of Directors. The firm donated funds to buy backpacks and school supplies for Palmetto Elementary School in West Palm Beach, and the firm’s employees volunteered for a day of service stuffing the backpacks with school supplies that were distributed to hundreds of students.  This was an initiative of The Education Foundation of Palm Beach County, and the firm is a longtime supporter of this organization. “Our service to the community is our best investment as it very meaningful and impactful,” Lesser said. “The Firm has a long history of supporting organizations that make a real difference in the communities we serve, and we will continue to do so in the years to come.” Over the past year, the Firm has supported Young Singers of the Palm Beaches, Leadership Palm Beach County, Economic Council of Palm Beach County, Historical Society of Palm Beach County, Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County, Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County, The Lord’s Place, American Association of Caregiving Youth, Andrea C. Cameron Foundation, Digital Vibez, Cultural Council for Palm Beach County, United Way of Martin County, Joseph A. Catrambone Scholarship Fund and many, many more. Click here for a list of other charitable and civic organizations we support.

Family of woman, 85, Killed by Alligator Files Lawsuit

West Palm Beach, FL – The attorneys of Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith, PLLC filed a wrongful death lawsuit on Jan. 25, 2024, on behalf of the family of an 85-year-old woman who was killed by an alligator last year. Gloria Serge was walking her dog, Trooper, along the lake behind her Spanish Lakes Fairways home in Fort Pierce on Feb. 20, 2023, when an alligator measuring more than 10 feet long grabbed onto her left foot and dragged her into the water, drowning her. Her screams drew the attention of a neighbor who called 911 and pleaded with her to swim to shore. Gloria yelled out that the alligator had her by the leg before she disappeared beneath the surface. Gloria, a beloved mother of 5, grandmother of 15 and great-grandmother of 9, lived in the community for more than 30 years and often walked Trooper down the street where neighbors were friendly and stopped to say hello. When she received a letter from the property manager telling her that she was limited to walking Trooper on her property or the development-owned dog run that was nearly a mile from her home, Gloria started walking him in her backyard, which bordered a community lake. The presence of large alligators in the lakes on the property was well known to the property manager, and this gator was no exception. In fact, evidence obtained by our firm will show that maintenance workers in the community routinely fed this alligator chicken scraps and even named the dangerous reptile “Henry.”  “There were no signs posted around the lake warning residents of the presence of an alligator, and the property managers encouraged people to sit near the lake by placing a bench along the shoreline,” Managing Partner Gary S. Lesser said. “This flies in the face of common sense and warnings from wildlife experts.” The presence of alligators presents such a danger to residents living near community lakes that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission developed a program specifically for ensuring the reptiles can be easily removed from communities like Spanish Lakes Fairways. The Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program provides a toll-free hotline to report alligators that are believed to be a threat to people, pets or property. If the alligator measures at least 4 feet long, a trapper will take immediate action to remove the gator from the area. At more than 10 feet long, “Henry” more than satisfied this requirement and could have been safely and effectively removed from Spanish Lakes Fairway with little more than a telephone call from the managers tasked with keeping the community safe. “Property owners in Florida, and particularly those managing residential communities catering to elderly residents, have a legal and non-delegable duty to identify dangerous conditions on the property, warn those in the vicinity of the danger and take immediate steps to remove the threat,” Firm Partner Joshua D. Ferraro said. “Unfortunately, the managers at Spanish Lakes Fairways failed to live up to their obligations, and as a direct result, Gloria died a horrible and terrifying death.” To view the complaint,  Click Here Media Coverage  WPTV: Family of woman, 85, killed by alligator at Spanish Lakes Fairways sues community NBC6: Suit filed a year after 85-year-old Florida woman killed in alligator attack CNN: Family of 85-year-old Florida woman, killed by an alligator while walking her dog, files wrongful death lawsuit People: Grandmother of 15 Was Killed by ‘Dangerous’ Alligator. Now Her Family Is Suing Florida Retirement Community Inside Edition: Family of 85-Year-Old Woman Killed by Alligator Sues Neighborhood Miami Herald: Alligator drags 85-year-old to death in Florida retirement community’s lake. Family sues TC Palm: Fatal alligator encounter spurs lawsuit against St. Lucie County business CBS News: Family of elderly woman killed by alligator in Florida sues retirement community Florida Record: Family of woman attacked, drowned by gator sues senior housing complex New York Post: Family of Florida grandmother killed by alligator sues retirement community: ‘This was a tragedy that was 100% preventable’ Law & Crime: Family of Florida woman killed by alligator named Henry while walking dog in horrifying attack captured on video files wrongful death suit

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