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Unfortunately, if your employer has less than four (4) employees you may not be entitled to worker’s compensation benefits under Florida Statue Ch. 440.   Meaning if you get hurt on the job, YOU may be personally responsible for your medical treatment/bills as well as any and all time missed from work.  Now, there are always exceptions to every rule (such as if you are in the construction industry).   Under  Florida Statute 440.055, [a]n employer who employs fewer than four employees, who is permitted by law to elect not to secure payment of compensation, and who elects not to do so shall post clear written notice in a conspicuous location at each work site directed to all employees and other persons performing services at the work site of their lack of entitlement to benefits under chapter 440. Continue reading →

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An important decision regarding a business’ duty to prevent over serving has been released by the 4th District Court of Appeal in the case of Stephanie De La Torre, Humberto Miranda and Carla Gallardo, Appellants, vs. Flanigan’s Enterprises, Inc d/b/a Flanigan’s Bar and Grill.

In this decision, the Plaintiffs, Stephanie De La Torre, Humberto Miranda and Carla Gallardo, were injured when their vehicle was hit by a drunk driver.  The injured persons filed a complaint against Flanigan’s, which owns and operates the restaurant at which the drunk driver had been drinking at prior to the accident.

blogThe trial court dismissed the complaint, finding that section 768.125, Florida Statutes (2011), protects businesses such as Flanigan’s from any liability for injuries caused by intoxicated patrons, as long as certain conditions are met.

The facts of this case, are unfortunately, not uncommon.  The Defendant went to the restaurant, Flanigan’s, on the night of December 2, 2011.  While there, the Defendant was over served by employees of Flanigan’s.  The Defendant became intoxicated and the employees of Flanigan’s tried to sober the Defendant up.  Later on, the Defendant left the restaurant in her own vehicle, and while on her way home, crossed into oncoming traffic, and struck the Plaintiffs’ vehicle.

An important part of this case, is the fact that Flanigan’s maintained internal policy designed to prevent drunk patrons from driving away from the business, by in effect taking the car keys away from the intoxicated patrons and insuring that the drunk patron left in either a taxi or with a sober driver. Continue reading →

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In yesterday’s blog we referenced Attorney Hoffman’s early experience in successfully picking stocks in which to invest.  An IBD Special Report from June 29, 2001 explaining her methodology.  Jo Ann Hoffman’s expertise in business has been said to help her obtain the best possible settlements for her clients.  Firm-Photo-2014-1024x731Her team work together with each client to obtain the best settlements.

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If you review the graph at the bottom of this article you will see that as the price of oil goes so goes your investments. My solution is to stabilize the stock market and global economies by having the U.S.  set the price of oil at $45 per barrel. At the current price of plus or minus $30 per barrel, oil companies are losing money by pumping oil. In Ohio, it costs approximately $900,000  to drill a 4800 foot well that produces both oil and natural gas. The bankers are calling in the loans extended to the oil drillers and of course the oil drillers can’t pay so they will go belly up. The wells will not be maintained and the weak wells with little production will have to be shut in (sealed off) by the state as they are abandoned or else it will cause pollution. The taxpayer will pay that shut-in expense and the unpaid financial loans will bring down the financial institutions’ profit. All will cause greater economic turmoil and our stock market will fall further if oil pricing isn’t stabilized.  Why not ask the Saudi’s to stabilize oil?  They only produce 1/9th of the world’s oil so they can’t do it alone. The United States leads in oil production and we must lead the way. Consider the below chart showing oil production by country.  Even though some of the 13 Nation OPEC countries along with Russia are talking about not producing more oil (premised on other large producers such as Iran, Iraq  joining), the Unites States needs to be a part of such an agreement as we are the number one oil producer right now.

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joannsagsign2My friend, who is a doctor and an actress with a membership in the Screen Actors Guild, secured two tickets to the  Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards and I was invited.  This involved flying to Los Angeles, picking up our two tickets which had our names and instructions on arrival and attendance along with our limo passes to the Awards.  We had to purchase a limo as you don’t want to arrive at the Awards in your Hyundai rental car.

You’re instructed to arrive at the Awards which took place at the Shrine Convention Center in downtown Los Angeles by 3:30 p.m.  You have to be in your seats by 4:30 p.m. as the show begins promptly at 5:00 p.m.  There are yards of bright red carpet flowing from the street where you’re dropped off into the Awards center gala.  When you are dropped off at the red carpet, the people there open your doors and you have arrived!  There are crowds of people in the area of the limousine drop-off and you know when a big star arrives because there’s lots of cheering.dern

oprahI, along with my friend and other people who were invited, stood along the sides of the red carpet where we would take pictures of celebrities as they passed down the red carpet.  The stars were arriving for about 45 minutes.  You knew when a big star arrived because you could hear the fans that were blocked off on the other side of the street cheering.  A big cheer went up for Oprah, who certainly has a big presence when she arrives and walks down the red carpet.  Rita Moreno arrived and, at 82, would accept her Lifetime Achievement Award.  She certainly had a dazzling outfit on and a wonderful presence as she walked down the carpet.  Morgan Freeman was there as well and received big cheers.

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