THE ADVOCATE. Sidelined: How a defective tire destroyed a dream 04. Honda Airbag Recall: Deadly Defect 04. We re Expanding: Meet our new attorneys 06

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1 Sidelined: How a defective tire destroyed a dream 04 Honda Airbag Recall: Deadly Defect 04 THE ADVOCATE V2 09 We re Expanding: Meet our new attorneys 06 View this publication and other important information on our website at

2 A History of Helping S Mark W. Clark, P.A. Donald R. Fountain, Jr., P.A. Farrah Fugett-Mullen Darla L. Keen Nancy La Vista, P.A. Julie H. Littky-Rubin, P.A. Lake Lytal, Jr., P.A. Lake H. Lytal, III, P.A. Jorge L. Maxion Timothy J. Murphy Cyrus S. Niakan Shannon Albertz Perez David C. Prather, P.A. Joseph J. Reiter, P.A. Kevin C. Smith, P.A. William S. Williams, P.A. Daniel Zuniga Jordan C. Evert ( ) Julie Littky-Rubin Kevin C. Smith Lake Trey Lytal, III Nancy La Vista Daniel Zuniga CHIEF INVESTIGATOR Marty Kerner, M.S. PARALEGAL/INVESTIGATORS Robert Bradshaw Marlene W. Clarke Lawrence Gordon W. James Keeley Teresa Krellner Melissa Lardakis Nelson Lopez Eliana Putney Steven Sanchez James E. Williams NURSE PARALEGALS RoxAnn Billingslea, R.N., B.S.N. Patty Lewis, B.S.N., R.N., C.E.N., L.H.R.M Cynthia Mazzuto, R.N. DIRECTOR OF ADMINISTRATION Lance E. Howden MARKETING/ PUBLIC RELATIONS Michelle Bacon MAIN OFFICE Northbridge Center 10th Floor, 515 North Flagler Drive West Palm Beach, Florida (561) / (800) BELLE GLADE 341 SE 2nd Street Belle Glade, Florida Julie Littky-Rubin has been appointed to serve on the Board of the Education Foundation of. Littky-Rubin is very active in the public school system, also serving as Co-President of the Timber Trace Elementary School PTA. Lake Trey Lytal, III has been re-elected to the Board of Directors for the Florida Justice Association. This will be his second two-year term. He also continues to serve on the Board of Directors for United Way of Nancy La Vista has been appointed to the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) National Board of Directors by National ABOTA President John Holcomb. She will serve a two-year term. Kevin C. Smith has been appointed to the Board of Directors for the Legal Aid Society of Hampton Keen has received the Palm Beach Public Schools Orchestral Strings Foundation Humanitarian Award in recognition of the time he volunteers with the program. Daniel Zuniga has been appointed to serve as Treasurer of the Hispanic Bar Association. The recently re-established organization aims to help Hispanic residents with legal information and pro bono work. He has also been appointed to the Judicial Relations Committee of the Bar Association Lytal with Phipps Park Baseball President Lloyd Walker Lytal (right) trying on the league s first uniforms in 1951 Lake Lytal, Jr. was recently honored at the Phipps Park Baseball opening ceremonies in West Palm Beach. Lytal s father, Lake Lytal, Sr. helped get the league started in the early 1950 s. Lytal, Jr. was one of the first little league players at Phipps Park. LRCF&W also sponsored the event which recognized several of the league s original players.

3 CASE HIGHLIGHT Overgrown Orange Groves Cause Serious Accident At 22-years-old, our client was a college student with a bright future ahead of her. But her life changed dramatically one evening as she was driving to a friend s house near Orlando. After stopping at a stop sign and looking both ways, she started to proceed through an intersection. Unfortunately, her view was obstructed by overgrown trees from an orange Lake H. Lytal, III grove adjacent to the road. She was not able to see a car coming toward her until it was too late. The other driver t-boned her vehicle at a high rate of speed, crushing it on impact. He later admitted that he never saw her car and never hit the brakes because the orange trees also blocked his view of the intersection. As a result of the accident, this young woman suffered a traumatic brain injury, neck and back injuries and spent more than a month in the hospital. Her injuries were so severe that she had to re-learn to walk and now has permanent brain damage. She has been unable to hold down a job and depends on her parents for care. The insurance companies handling this case refused to offer anything before the family hired attorney Lake H. Trey Lytal, III. The case settled one week before trial for $1.26 Million. We Have a New Website... Please check out our new site,, for the latest information about Lytal, Reiter, Clark, Fountain & Williams. We gladly accept case referrals throughout Florida and the United States. CASE HIGHLIGHT Appellate Victory After two of our firm s trial attorneys obtained a 1.5 million dollar verdict against Cooper Tire for the death of a hardworking husband and father, Cooper filed an affidavit from one of the jurors, stating that the jury was divided 3-3 on the verdict, and that it compromised on the findings ngs of responsibility and damages. While Cooper tried to convince the trial Julie H. Littky-Rubin judge to give it a new trial based on an illegal compromise, the trial judge felt the verdict should stand because the jurors agreed to the verdict when polled, and also had continued to deliberate for many hours after advising they were divided in their beliefs about what the verdict should be. LRCFW s appellate attorney, Julie H. Littky-Rubin answered the appeal Cooper took to the Fourth District Court of Appeal. By arguing that give and take is inherent in any jury deliberation, and showing the court that Cooper could point to no evidence of an illegal compromise as the case law defines it, she convinced the appellate court to affirm the jury s verdict finding liability and awarding the man s family damages for his wrongful death. The case style is Cooper v. Pierre, (4D ). The opinion was issued on July 22, 2008.

4 PRODUCTS LIABILITY Joseph J. Reiter Donald R. Fountain BASKETBALL STAR INJURED IN ROLLOVER CRASH Many young basketball players dream of one day playing in the NBA. For our 18-year-old client, that dream was actually within reach. As a high school basketball star in California, he had college coaches watching his every move and dozens of offers from major universities across the country. He was even listed as one of the top 50 high school basketball players in the United States. Sadly, during his senior year of high school, his dreams of playing basketball were shattered after a tire on the SUV he was driving suffered a tread and belt separation causing the vehicle to lose control and rollover on the highway.our client sustained a traumatic brain injury which impaired his mobility and vision. Much of this case centered on our client s loss of future income and earning ability as an NBA basketball player. Attorneys Joseph J. Reiter, Donald R. Fountain & retained professional basketball coaches and scouting experts to testify that our client likely would have been drafted into the NBA and would have earned a substantial income as a professional basketball player. Reiter, Fountain & Keen settled the case confidentially with the auto and tire manufacturers on behalf of their client. Honda Airbag Recall Honda is recalling 2001 Civic and Accord vehicles due to a problem with the airbags. The recall also includes some 2002 vehicles as well as some Acura vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the driver s airbag inflator could produce excessive internal pressure. The NHTSA document states, If an affected airbag deploys, the increased internal pressure may cause the inflator to rupture. Metal fragments could pass through the airbag cushion material, possibly causing injury to vehicle occupants. The law firm of Lytal, Reiter, Clark, Fountain and Williams is handling cases involving these defective Honda airbags. In one case, a young woman nearly bled to death after a minor accident. Our investigation revealed that a metal fragment from Metal fragment from airbag the airbag in her 2001 Honda Civic shot out, cutting the jugular vein in her neck. Thankfully, a police officer witnessed the crash and was able to control the bleeding until paramedics arrived. This case has been covered by several news organizations. To view the full video news report, please visit our website at. If you have a case involving a defective airbag, please contact our firm immediately at We gladly accept referrals and serve as co-counsel on cases throughout Florida and the United States. BANKRUPTCY: What happens to cases against GM & Chrysler? Although General Motors and Chrysler both recently filed for bankruptcy protection, our firm is still handling injury cases involving vehicles manufactured and/or designed by GM and Chrysler. The approved bankruptcy plans for each respective manufacturer includes a release from liability for any claims arising from GM or Chrysler manufactured vehicles before the new company emerges from bankruptcy. For Chrysler, this date is June 10, 2009 and for GM this date is July 10, In essence, the new GM and the new Chrysler cannot technically be legally responsible in a court of law for any injuries caused by its products manufactured before such dates. Fortunately, after much lobbying on behalf of consumers by several State Attorneys General and other advocates whose efforts were funded in part by our law firm, the new Chrysler has accepted liability for any injuries caused by Chrysler vehicles from June 10, 2009 going forward (the new GM has done the same for injuries caused by GM vehicles from July 10, 2009 going forward), even if the vehicle with the alleged defect was manufactured by the old company. For those injured prior to those dates, the good news is that typically there are other viable potential defendants who may also be responsible for a defective motor vehicle such as the originating dealer, the manufacturer of the defective component, the designer of the defective component, and/or the supplier of the defective component, among others. Many of these defendants are equally responsible for the defective component. THE ADVOCATE PAGE 4

5 MEDICAL MALPRACTICE Father of six dies as a result of misdiagnosis A 35-year-old father of six went to the emergency room complaining of severe chest pain radiating into his back and groin. Though he was seen by a number of doctors, and spent ten days in the hospital, no one made a diagnosis as to the Darla L. Keen cause of his chest pain. The day after he was discharged from the hospital, he died from an undiagnosed and untreated aortic dissection. During depositions, many of the treating physicians admitted he had the classic signs and symptoms of aortic dissection, yet provided no real explanation for why the diagnosis was not made. Lake Lytal, Jr. Donald R. Fountain Joseph J. Reiter Julie Littky-Rubin Mark W. Clark David C. Prather This was a tragic, preventable, and untimely end to a young man s life, leaving six young children without the love and support of their father. Attorney Darla Keen filed suit on behalf of the children and the firm successfully litigated this case against 12 defendants. A confidential settlement was reached prior to trial. An aortic dissection is one of the three most deadly causes of chest pain, and unfortunately, is also one of the most misdiagnosed in the emergency room setting with chest pain patients. If you or a loved one presented to the hospital for chest pain and no diagnosis was made or you believe the condition was misdiagnosed, please feel free to contact us at Nancy La Vista Lake Lytal, III Kevin C. Smith Congratulations Firm partners Lake Lytal, Jr., Joseph J. Reiter, Mark W. Clark, Donald R. Fountain, Nancy La Vista, Lake Lytal, III, David C. Prather and Kevin C. Smith have been named to the 2010 list of Best Lawyers in America. Lytal, Jr., Reiter, Clark, Fountain, Prather and Julie Littky- Rubin have been selected for inclusion in the 2009 edition of Florida Super Lawyers. The publication listed Littky- Rubin as one of the top 50 female lawyers in the state. AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT Elderly couple killed in devastating auto accident Just days before celebrating her 86th birthday, a woman and her husband were tragically killed in an automobile accident. He was driving and she was the front seat passenger. The accident happened as he was making a left turn. Their car was almost through the intersection, when it was hit by a vehicle speeding in the opposite direction. Mark W. Clark Attorney Mark W. Clark handled the wrongful death claims on behalf of the couple s two adult sons. He faced highly contested liability from the defense as well as disputes over coverage. Clark overcame these obstacles and settled the case confidentially after several years of litigation. THE ADVOCATE PAGE 5

6 We re Expanding The Law Firm of Lytal, Reiter, Clark, Fountain & Williams is pleased to welcome our new attorneys and paralegals. Farrah C. Fugett-Mullen concentrates her practice in the areas of automobile accidents, premises liability and wrongful death in both state and federal court. Before joining the firm, Farrah litigated insurance defense cases in. Her extensive trial experience and her understanding of the inner workings of the insurance business are valuable tools for our clients. Farrah graduated magna cum laude from Morehead State University and earned her law degree, with honors, at Nova Southeastern University, where she served as managing editor for the International Law Students Association Journal of International and Comparative Law. Timothy J. Murphy is a member of the firm s products liability team. He handles personal injury and wrongful death claims involving manufacturing and design defects. Tim uses his prior litigation experience involving medical malpractice, construction negligence, and administrative environmental challenges to take on the major domestic and international manufacturers whose products caused catastrophic injuries. As a prior insurance defense attorney, Tim s understanding of the defense of complex litigation helps maximize his clients recoveries. Tim graduated from The Florida State University where he earned both a Bachelor s degree as well as a Master s degree. He earned his law degree from Nova Southeastern University. THE ADVOCATE PAGE 6

7 Cyrus S. Niakan specializes in products liability litigation involving automotive design and manufacturing defects. Prior to joining LRCF&W, Cyrus gained valuable experience at a Miami law firm where he litigated numerous complex defense cases. His knowledge of defense trial strategies makes him uniquely qualified to handle complex products liability cases. Cyrus has tried cases throughout the State of Florida and has lectured on several topics including expert witness discovery and trucking litigation. Cyrus attended the University of Washington where he graduated with degrees in English Literature as well as Molecular and Cellular Biology. Cyrus then attended law school on an academic scholarship at the University of Arizona. He is fluent in Spanish and Farsi. Shannon Albertz Perez represents firm clients injured as a result of automobile accidents and other personal injury and wrongful death matters. Prior to joining LRCF&W, Shannon served as an Assistant State Attorney for the 15th Judicial Circuit in, where she perfected her trial skills prosecuting cases on behalf of the State of Florida. Shannon s courtroom experience is a valuable resource, as LRCF&W is known throughout the country for bringing complex personal injury cases to trial. TORN Shannon is a graduate of Florida State University and earned her law degree at Nova Southeastern University. Daniel Zuniga helps firm clients obtain compensation for injuries and damages suffered in car and truck accidents as well as other areas of personal injury and wrongful death litigation. Before joining LRCF&W, Daniel litigated cases for an insurance defense firm. His defense background gives him valuable insight into the other side of the law, allowing him to make the maximum recovery for his clients. Daniel attended Emory University in Atlanta and graduated with a degree in Economics, and minors in Sociology and Film Studies. He then attended law school at Hofstra University in New York where he won the Edward J. Hart Memorial Scholarship for Trial Advocacy. Dan began his legal career prosecuting cases on behalf of the State of Florida while working at the State Attorney s Office in Miami-Dade County. He serves as Treasurer of the Hispanic Bar Association. He is also a member of the Judicial Relations Committee for the Bar Association. Dan is fluent in Spanish. PARALEGAL INVESTIGATOR Melissa Lardakis joined LRCF&W after an extensive career in health administration and law. She has worked as a paralegal in both plaintiff and defense firms. Now, she utilizes her knowledge and experience to help firm clients involved in automobile accidents, trucking accidents, heavy machinery and equipment accidents, construction accidents, premises liability litigation and wrongful death cases. Since earning her CLA in 2002, she has gone on to achieve her advanced certification in discovery and trial practice. Melissa is also certified as a Mediator for Educational Disputes, and as a Florida Bar Registered Paralegal. PARALEGAL INVESTIGATOR Steven Sanchez joined LRCF&W as a paralegal/investigator bringing with him an in-depth understanding of the automobile insurance industry. Before coming to LRCF&W, he was the senior claims administrator at a plaintiff personal injury law firm in Broward County. Steven began his career as an insurance claims adjuster nearly twenty years ago and has worked for several different insurance companies as an adjuster, casualty specialist and statewide negotiator. He now provides his extensive knowledge of the insurance claims process to help firm clients in automobile accident cases and other personal injury and wrongful death litigation. He is certified as a Florida Bar Registered Paralegal. Steven is fluent is Spanish. THE ADVOCATE PAGE 7

8 Northbridge Center 10th Floor 515 North Flagler Drive West Palm Beach, FL RECENT CASES MARCH JULY 2009 AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT $1.26 MILLION SETTLEMENT Auto Accident/Roadway Obstruction/Brain Injury/ Neck and Back Surgery Orange County Lake Lytal, III Auto Accident/ Two Wrongful Deaths Mark W. Clark $500,000 SETTLEMENT Auto Accident/Neck Surgery/ Hardware Instrumentation William S. Williams $490,000 SETTLEMENT Auto Accident/Unoperated Herniated Disc William S. Williams PRODUCTS LIABILITY Seat Back Failure/ Vocal Chord Injury/ Child Severely Injured Martin County Joseph J. Reiter, Donald R. Fountain & Cyrus S. Niakan Equipment Failure/ Severe Burns Volusia County David C. Prather Rollover/Roof Collapse/ Wrongful Death Pinellas County Donald R. Fountain & MEDICAL MALPRACTICE Surgery Complication/ Wrongful Death Orange County Nancy La Vista Commercial Truck Accident/ Two Wrongful Deaths Lake Lytal, III $500,000 SETTLEMENT Motorcycle Accident/Multiple Severe Injuries William S. Williams Tire Failure/Rollover/ Wrongful Death Clark County, Nevada Joseph J. Reiter & Donald R. Fountain Tire Failure/Wrongful Death Dade County Tire Failure/Rollover/ Multiple Surgeries Collier County Donald R. Fountain Rollover/Roof Collapse/ Wrongful Death Pasco County David C. Prather Failure to Diagnose Aortic Dissection/Wrongful Death Darla L. Keen Decubitus Ulcer Kevin C. Smith

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