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Explore These Springtime Family-Friendly Tampa Events

Explore These Springtime Family-Friendly Tampa Events

There are plenty of fun activities in the Tampa and Clearwater area beyond Spring Training (go Rays!). Whether you’re a fan of good food, good music, or just a good time, there are Tampa events that will fit the bill! Here’s a roundup of Tampa events the whole family can enjoy, from superheroes to sand castles. Fun Tampa Events the Whole Family Will Enjoy The Pigeon Comes to Tampa!: A Mo Willems Exhibit When: January 19th – May 12th, 2019 Where: Glazer Museum Cost: Children 1 – 12 $10, Adults $15; Free for Members Website Whether your kid prefers Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!  or the Elephant and Piggie series of easy reader books, this fun exhibit at the Glazer Museum will delight young readers. Featuring a cast of silly characters tested by the challenges of childhood, this exhibit allows children to explore, play, and create in a way that is exciting and fun. Be sure to check out other family-friendly events at the museum, too. Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival When: Weekends from March 16th – April 28th, 2019 Where: Busch Gardens Tampa Cost: Admission starts at $79.99 Website Roller coasters and food may seem like strange bedfellows, but Busch Gardens delivers with its international fare. We recommend waiting before climbing aboard any fast-paced rides though! Why not let the kids test their resistance to g-forces while you sample a variety of tasty treats and beverages? Plus, check out a variety of musical acts (shows are free with admission). AfroCon: A Celebration of Diverse Superheroes When: Saturday, March 30th; 10 AM – 4 PM Where:...
How to Address Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment at Work

How to Address Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment at Work

Employees clock into their respective workplaces each day to earn an honest living across the state. Some have their sights set on putting their children through college, while others want to retire and fish their remaining years away. Many put in long hours towards their goals, hoping for financial rewards or career advancement. Work can already be stressful on its own, so when an immediate supervisor makes snide sexual jokes or suggests an individual engage in sexual acts with them to receive a favorable performance evaluation, it adds additional layers of stress and undue harm. Sexual harassment at work in Florida is an unfortunate reality thousands of men and women live with each day. Not only do these violations occur in the office, on the production line or inside a restaurant, but they happen during the hiring process as well. Quid pro quo sexual harassment, a subordinate of workplace sexual harassment, is growing faster than the economy of Florida. Armed with facts, you can stop this from growing into a pandemic. With an experienced Tampa sexual harassment lawyer, you may be able to recover compensation for lost compensation and suffering caused by sexual harassment. What is Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment? In the simplest terms, quid pro quo means “A favor with the expectation of receiving one back.” In terms of workplace sexual harassment, then, quid pro quo harrassment is when an employment candidate is hired or promoted (or offered employment or a promotion) on the condition they first perform sexual favors. Other examples of quid pro quo sexual harassment include: Being told you would get promoted if you...
Pedestrian and Motorist Liability in Florida Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian and Motorist Liability in Florida Pedestrian Accidents

Florida has one of the highest rates of fatal pedestrian accidents in the country. Due to an overabundance of highway construction and congested city streets, Florida ranked fifth in pedestrian accidents resulting in death in 2017, trailing Arizona by .17 deaths for the top spot. Hillsborough County is especially brutal for those who rely on their legs to commute, although traversing Miami-Dade by foot is more dangerous than nearly all counties combined. Inadequate pedestrian safety is a pervasive issue in Florida. But what many residents of Hillsborough County may not know are what rights and responsibilities pedestrians have when using Tampa sidewalks and crosswalks and what level of proof is required to compensate victims of pedestrian accidents in Florida for their unwarranted injuries. Pedestrian Responsibility When Crossing an Intersection Section 316.130 of The 2018 Florida Statutes underscores pedestrian laws when using crosswalks and sidewalks. According to this section of code, pedestrians must: Obey the instruction of any traffic control device; Use sidewalks when available, avoiding the use of roadways designated for vehicles; Walk along the left shoulder when sidewalks are not available; Not leave the sidewalk or curb abruptly, making it impossible for a vehicle to yield; Not cross diagonally unless instructed by a traffic control officer to do so; and, Follow traffic control signals when in use. Despite lawful use of sidewalks and crosswalks, accidents still happen. Motorist Responsibility when Pedestrians are Present Similarly, motorists have rules that must be followed when pedestrians are present. They include: Stopping before crosswalks when traffic signal is red; Allowing pedestrians permitted to cross to do so before proceeding; Yielding to pedestrians...
Family Friendly Tampa Holiday Events to Enjoy 2018

Family Friendly Tampa Holiday Events to Enjoy 2018

Tampa holiday events are more than just a good time, they are an opportunity to meet our neighbors and expand our community. We love the eclectic mix of events the area has to offer during the holiday season and hope to see you at some of the following! Before delving into the fun events planned around town, we wanted to take a moment to share some information from Toys for Tots. If you’d like to support the Marines in making some happy holiday memories for some sweet youngsters, you can visit the Toys for Tots website to find the closest donation point nearest you or make a financial contribution online. Winter Village Where: Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park When: Nov. 16 – Jan. 5, 2019 Website Catch a ride on the Pirate Water Taxi, enjoy some lovely holiday lights, or test your skill on some ice skates. With seasonal treats and holiday shopping available, there’s something for everyone in the family at this annual Winter Village. Two movies will be featured this year: Home Alone on Nov. 16th at 7:30 PM and The Santa Clause on Nov. 30 at 7:30 PM. Christmas Town Where: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay When: Nightly Nov. 17 – Dec. 31 Website Meet Rudolf of the famed red nose along with his pals or give Santa a hug after enjoying some beautiful lights, festive treats, and spectacular yuletide shows. With 6 shows to choose from, there is definitely something for everyone at this annual Christmas event. Enjoy some shopping or a train—there are lots of holiday-themed activities throughout the park. Christmas Town Busch Gardens is sure...
The Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Florida

The Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Florida

Most car accidents in Florida share similar factors with those across the country. And like those car accidents, many can be avoided by making better choices behind the wheel. So far this year, Florida has seen 317,721 reported car crashes. More than a third of those led to injuries to the involved parties and over 2,000 led to fatalities. Just over seven percent of Florida car accidents occurred in Hillsborough County. Almost half of the car accidents reported in Hillsborough County this year have resulted in injuries, though thankfully, the County has seen a lower percentage of fatalities than the state at large. (Statistics are accurate as of 10/25/2018.) The 5 Top Causes of Car Accidents in Florida Below are the five top causes of car accidents in Florida and why they may occur. Distracted Driving Floridians, like other Americans, love their smartphones. Unfortunately, those same smartphones are a huge distraction when we’re in our vehicles. And it isn’t just our smartphones that are taking our attention away from the road. Switching radio stations, eating, drinking, having a conversation with a passenger—all of these are considered distracted driving and they each affect our ability to concentrate on the road in a different way. When we’re driving, we need to visually concentrate on the road in front of us and the vehicles around us. We need to have our hands on the wheels, physically responding to traffic and any obstacles on the road. In addition, we have to be focused on what we’re doing mentally so we can anticipate the actions of those around us and make smart choices. When...
How to File a Hurricane Irma Insurance Claim

How to File a Hurricane Irma Insurance Claim

The devastation brought on by Hurricane Irma has made international headlines. The vicious storm claimed the lives of nearly 50 people in the United States and the Caribbean. Additionally, recent reports show that an astounding 90% of homes within the Florida Keys were damaged by the storm. Many people are reading about the over $200 billion in damage caused by Hurricanes Irma and Harvey. However, for others, the aftermath hits closer to home. In addition to trying to figure out when your power will be restored, locating lost items, and attempting to stay high and dry, you’ve also probably already thought about how to file a Hurricane Irma insurance claim. We understand that the last thing you want to do is spend hours on the phone or attempt to decode your insurance policy. We’re here to help. In this post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about how to file a Hurricane Irma insurance claim. Step One: Contact Your Insurance Company The first thing you need to do when you’re ready to file a Hurricane Irma insurance claim? Reach out to your insurance company and let them know your situation. Keep in mind that depending on how hard the storm hit your specific area, your insurance company might not be able to get on the ground yet. This is due to issues like downed trees, fallen power lines, and flooding. Sometimes, an insurance company may even be barred from entry due to evacuation orders. No matter whether or not your insurance company can get to your home yet, contacting them and letting them know about your intention...

Florida Supreme Court Clears Path to Jury Trials for Subsequent Purchasers

The Florida Supreme Court today issued a potential game-changing opinion for subsequent purchasers of homes today in the case of Mendez v. Hampton Court Nursing Center, LLC, 41 Fla. L. Weekly S394a (September 22, 2016).  Until now, the law has largely been believed to be that those who are not original homeowners are still bound by arbitration clauses in the original contracts because a “benefit” was bestowed upon them in the form of a limited warranty.  While many attorneys argued against this inequity in construction defect cases, most courts have compelled subsequent purchasers to arbitration, holding that subsequent purchasers were effectively bound by the original contracting parties because of the warranty “benefits” they received. In Mendez, the Court emphatically struck down such a notion.  While Mendez was a nursing home case, its impact should have far-reaching implications, including construction defect cases.  The language in Mendez is unequivocal that a non-contracting party (i.e., a subsequent purchaser) is the party who gets to enforce a benefit, not the other way around.   “Critically, the third party beneficiary doctrine enables a non-contracting party to enforce a contract against a contracting party — not the other way around.  See, e.g., Espinosa v. Sparber, Shevin, Shapo, Rosen & Heilbronner, 612 So. 2d 1378, 1380 (Fla. 1993);  Shingleton v. Bussey, 223 So. 2d 713, 715 (Fla. 1969).  The third-party beneficiary doctrine does not permit two parties to bind a third — without the third party’s agreement — merely by conferring a benefit on the third party.” Undoubtedly, there will be arguments raised that Mendez does not apply to construction defect cases, but such an argument does not appear to have much support based on...

Taylor Morrison Demands Arbitration Against Itself And Then Denies All Claims

Tampa, FL –  The late Yogi Berra once famously said, “When you see a fork in the road, take it.”  Taylor Morrison Services, Inc. (“Taylor Morrison”) has apparently taken Mr. Berra’s advice and demanded arbitration against itself.  As a bit of background, Ramon Vargas and Solange Matos purchased a home from Taylor Morrison several years ago in Ruskin, FL.  Within the last few years, the stucco on the home has begun to crack, become warped and has progressively gotten so severe that the stucco is at risk of completely falling off the home.  Earlier this year, filed suit on Mr. Vargas’ and Ms. Matos’ behalf in Hillsborough County Circuit Court against Taylor Morrison alleging that the builder violated the Florida Building Code when constructing their home. A circuit court judge ruled that a clause in the plaintiffs’ 10-year structural warranty required arbitration of the matter.  Mr. Vargas and Ms. Matos were in the process of appealing that ruling to the Second District Court of Appeal when Taylor Morrison decided to take matters into its own hands and demand arbitration against itself.  Using the Complaint filed by Mr. Vargas and Ms. Matos in the lawsuit, Taylor Morrison paid the arbitration filing fee and alleged that it had violated the Florida Building Code and breached the underlying sales contract.  Incredibly, a few days later, Taylor Morrison responded to its own demand for arbitration and denied all claims.  All the while, Mr. Vargas and Ms. Matos have watched from the sidelines as Taylor Morrison has sparred with itself. In its answering statement, Taylor Morrison criticized itself for failing to specify the provisions of the Florida Building Code...

Josh Burnett Talks Stucco Defects to NBC-2 News

Josh Burnett, founder of Burnett Law, P.A., recently sat down with NBC’s Ft. Myers affiliate NBC-2 News to discuss the stucco crisis in Florida.  While the story originated in Ft. Myers, NBC-2 News quickly learned that the stucco problem spreads far beyond the boundaries of Ft. Myers, reaching virtually every county in Florida where stucco has been applied over wood framing.  The story focuses on the time limitations imposed by the Legislature and serves as an alert to all who have purchased homes built within the last 10 years.  If you have stucco issues and your home was built within the last 10 years, do not hesitate to reach out to us. In addition to the timing issue, there are many other issues gripping homeowners who have suffered from shoddy stucco work.  The attorneys at Burnett Law, P.A. are extremely familiar with the builders, builders’ litigation tactics and the multitude of issues facing homeowners.  Our firm has experienced trial attorneys to take on the builders.    If you have any questions about a potential stucco problem, please do not hesitate to call us.  Click the link below to watch the story....

5th DCA Rules in Favor of Homeowner on ACV Issue

Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal today reversed a Hernando County judge’s ruling excluding evidence of subsequent payments made by an insurance company after suit had been filed in Jesse Sanchez v. Tower Hill Signature Insurance Company, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D2748a (Fla. 5th DCA December 11, 2015).  Burnett Law, P.A.’s Joshua E. Burnett and Matthew L. Wilson tried the case back in November 2013.  The case dates all the way back to 2009 when Mr. Sanchez noticed damage to his home consistent with sinkhole activity.  After timely reporting the damage to his insurance company (Tower Hill), a sinkhole investigation took place.  After determining sinkhole activity was present, Tower Hill agreed to do some subsurface repairs and sent Mr. Sanchez a check in the amount of $15,106.37 for above-ground damages based on an adjuster’s estimate. Understandably, Mr. Sanchez did not believe that $15,106.37 was sufficient to cover the above-ground damages, so he retained a company named APT to prepare an above-ground estimate.  APT’s estimate far exceeded the amount that Tower Hill paid Mr. Sanchez, but Tower Hill refused to pay any additional money.  Accordingly, Mr. Sanchez sued Tower Hill alleging, among other things, that Tower Hill had failed to pay all benefits due to Mr. Sanchez.  A month and a half before Tower Hill filed its answer, Tower Hill hired a contractor to prepare another estimate.  That estimate was $31,070.72.  Tower Hill answered the Complaint and denied that any payments were due and owing.  Approximately nine months after filing its answer, Tower Hill remitted two additional checks to Mr. Sanchez totaling an additional $16,001.91.  The checks were sent with a cover letter stating that the payments were additional amounts for the...