Victim of Parkland shooting files lawsuits

Many people are still trying to comprehend the horrific incident that occurred in Parkland, Florida on February 14th of this year. As the victims start to heal, lawsuits towards not only the gunman’s foster parents but also the mental health facilities the gunman was a patient at are starting to make light. If you have been harmed and are unsure of the responsible parties, attorney’s at Tijjani Law are here to help. Contact us for more information.

No child should have to endure what those at Parkland High School went through during the mass shooting at their school on February 14. Understandably, many are asking questions about how it could have been avoided, whether there were missed warning signs, and how to avoid this type of tragedy in the future.

In answer to some of those questions, one of the Parkland victims is suing the gunman, his mother’s estate, the family the gunman stayed with, and three mental health facilities. He claims that those entities share some of the responsibility for the shooter’s actions that day.

Student Used Own Body as Human Shield

Anthony Borges is a 15-year-old student praised for saving as many as 20 lives when he barricaded a door and used his body to shield classmates as Nikolas Cruz opened fire at the Florida high school, killing 17. Anthony was shot five times through the door and spent seven weeks in the hospital. A third of his lung was removed and he will need additional surgeries.

Suing Parkland Gunman, Others

Borges’ parents, Royer Borges and Emely Delfin, filed the lawsuit on Anthony’s behalf and are seeking damages over $15,000, attorney’s fees, and court costs, among other damages. Included among their claims against Nikolas Cruz, foster parents James and Kimberly Snead, his deceased mother’s estate, and three mental health facilities are the following:

  • The Sneads were negligent because Cruz had access to one or more guns while staying with them; and “specifically the AR-15 rifle that he subsequently used in committing the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.”
  • Henderson Behavioral Health was negligent because they did not hospitalize Cruz after their psychiatric evaluation determined that he was “not a risk to harm himself or anyone else because he was on a treatment plan for ADHD, depression, and autism.”
  • Jerome Golden Center for Behavior Health “knew or should have known” that Cruz “suffered from mental illness and was a threat to others.” The center’s CEO claims they had no contact with Cruz.
  • Lynda Cruz (the gunman’s deceased mother) “owed a duty to the public” to have her son properly diagnosed and treated (she reported her son’s violent behavior on multiple occasions), and to prevent him from obtaining weapons.

According to Borges’ attorney, the Parkland victim also plans to sue the Broward Sheriff’s Office, among others.

Too many innocent victims are harmed everyday by the actions and negligence of others. If you’ve been injured, it might not be clear who the responsible parties are. Speak with an attorney to better understand your rights and legal options.

Related Resources:

Weapons at School (FindLaw’s Learn About the Law)

Source: https://blogs.findlaw.com/injured/2018/04/parkland-victim-files-lawsuit-against-gunman-and-foster-parents.html?

Man Sues for Rat Bite at Disney’s Magic Kingdom

People get injured all the time, and on an business’s property, it’s not that uncommon either. Getting injured at the happiest place on earth though, that’s a different story. This man got bit by a rat at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, and now he is suing the park because of unsafe conditions, as he was injured.

A Rat Run Amok

According to the lawsuit filed on March 19, Galen Haldeman, 59, and his wife Carol had just ridden the Buzz Lightyear ride when he was bitten by a rat in a nearby store. Other patrons yelled, “Rat!” before the large rodent jumped onto the wheel of Carol’s wheelchair. Haldeman claims that just as the rat was about to bite his wife’s arm, Haldeman pulled it off the chair. That’s when it bit one of his fingers. Haldeman says he had to twist the rat’s neck to get it off of him.

Unsafe Conditions

The Haldemans are suing Walt Disney Parks and Resorts for negligence. In a negligence claim, the plaintiff has to prove, among other things, that the defendant violated a duty of care owed to the plaintiff. In this case, Haldeman argues that the company “violated its duty to keep its park clean and safe by allowing conditions to get to the point where rats were inhabiting the park and were even bold enough to come out openly, among people.”

Haldeman claims that the rat bite resulted in disfigurement, mental anguish, medical bills, physical handicap, and other problems. He’s suing for more than $15,000 in damages.

If you’ve been injured and think someone else may be at fault, contact a lawyer to find out what types of options you might have in terms of compensation.

Related Resources:

Source: http://blogs.findlaw.com/injured/2018/03/man-sues-for-rat-bite-at-disneys-magic-kingdom.html?

Your Immigration Status and Child Custody

If you are an immigrant to the United States, are going through a divorce, and have children you could find yourself wondering how custody of your children will be determined. There are many factors that go into consideration when custody gets decided. Learn about how immigration status could indirectly affect custody in the article below.

Divorce is hard enough for anyone to go through, but add having to determine child custody, and it only gets harder. Sometimes parents are able to reach a custody agreement themselves, other times the parents may need to have a judge decide on the child custody arrangements.

If you’re an immigrant — legal or illegal — you may be concerned that your immigration status will impact a child custody agreement. After all, doesn’t it seem likely that a U.S. citizen would be favored over a non-citizen when determining who gets custody? The answer is no — immigration status is not generally a factor in determining who gets custody.

How Is Child Custody Determined?

Like most legal family matters, child custody is governed by state laws. There are, however, some generally accepted factors in determining child custody. The main factor in determining child custody is considering what’s in the “best interests” of the child. This involves many considerations including looking at the mental and physical health of the parents, need for continuation of a stable home environment, and the wishes of the child (when he or she is old enough to capably make this decision).

While the list of considerations for child custody is long, notably absent is immigration status. This is even true in the case of illegal immigrants fighting for child custody. While it may not be a factor in determining child custody, it bears mentioning that a pending deportation or an actual deportation can affect child custody, since it would impact the child’s life.

So, while a parent’s immigration status doesn’t directly factor into deciding who gets custody, there could be indirect effects, particularly if the parent is an illegal immigrant. To resolve child custody issues, contact a child custody lawyer or an immigration lawyer for help.

Related Resources:

Source: http://blogs.findlaw.com/law_and_life/2018/02/how-does-immigration-status-affect-child-custody.html?

If You Get In a Car Accident

If you get in a car accident, and you don’t think things will be settled easily, consider hiring an attorney to be on your side. They can help you gather all the facts and present them to whomever is deciding how it gets settled. Going into a consultation with an accident attorney there are things you should know. The article below helps you learn how to prepare for your consultation.

When injured in a car accident, it’s common to feel bent out of shape. Your car might be a compressed chunk of metal. You might be sitting in the hospital or at home nursing some nasty injuries. And going to work, school, or about your daily routine? Yeah … so much for that. 

It’s normal to vent (and we certainly encourage you to vent). But, as they say, revenge is a dish best served by your lawyer. So here’s some advice for preparing for your initial consultation with a car accident attorney.

1. Make a Timeline

Cases are built on the facts. Your lawyer is going to want as many details as possible, and will press you for specifics, specifics, specifics. What happened, when did it happen, how did it happen, and in what order did it happen? It’s a good idea to make a timeline with as much information and detail as possible. This will get you thinking about the case from a legal perspective, and give your lawyer a prepared account of the facts right off the bat.

2. Bring Records and Documents

Written documentation is very important to lawyers, and gathering it is a major part of preparing a case. Prepare copies of accident reports, insurance information, witness contact information, medical records, photographs from the scene, and names of doctors, nurses, police officers, chiropractors, and medical facilities — everything connected with the accident. You can use a checklist to gather records in advance.

3. Be Prepared to Answer Questions

Lawyers are trained to tease out information and details with questions. You should be prepared to answer all of them as best you can. Besides being a tool for figuring out what happened, your responses tell a lawyer other, more subtle things too. Like whether you’d be a good client to take on and how a jury might respond to you on the witness stand. It’s never too early to strategize!

4. Ask the Questions You Want to Ask

Lawyers are trained to be lawyers, but no one is trained to be a client. The best way to get information is to ask an attorney. Feel free to ask a lawyer about her experience handling similar cases, background and training, fees, and what you should expect going forward. Knowing what to expect can bring relief and help make sure you and your lawyer are on the same page going forward.

Related Resources

Source: http://blogs.findlaw.com/injured/2018/01/how-to-prepare-for-a-consultation-with-a-car-accident-lawyer.html?

The Latest Slip and Fall Injury Cases

Slip and fall injuries occur more than one would think, and can often turn into legal battles. If someone slips, falls, and is injured on someone else’s property due to factors that could have been warned about or prevented that person could be entitled to compensation. The article below highlights 5 of the latest cases under this topic with quite large settlements. Learn about them by continuing to read below.

1. Slip-And-Fall Leaves Man Blind; Jury Gives Him $4M

Earlier this year, a jury found in favor of Bill Waite, who fell down an unmarked step along an otherwise level sidewalk. Waite, who previously had little to no functional eyesight in his right eye, struck his left eye against a chair, leaving him effectively blind.

2. Las Vegas Comedian Wins $1.3M Casino Injury Suit

The fall that left comedian George Wallace “permanently hobbled” with tendon damage was no laughing matter. The jury found the Bellagio liable for the onstage wiring in which Wallace became entangled, and compensated him for lost income.

3. Student Paralyzed in Apt. Fall to Get $11.6M

Lorna Bernhoft fell through a raised skylight opening on the fourth floor of an off-campus residence while a student the University of Pennsylvania. The fall left her paralyzed, and she reached an out-of-court settlement with the building’s owners.

4. CO Trucker Wins $10M in Walmart Slip and Fall

In another case involving Walmart, Holly Averyt suffered debilitating back injuries resulting from a grease spill on a Greeley Walmart’s loading dock. The retailer didn’t do itself any favors in court, denying a spill ever existed before being confronted with city records of a grease spill investigation at the site.

5. Jury Awards $3.2M to Woman Injured at Ikea Store

Not a slip, but certainly a fall — Xiaolei Zeng suffered a crushed pelvis when an eight-foot-high stack of countertops fell on top of her in a Potomac Mills, Virginia Ikea. Doctors testified during the trial that Zeng would likely suffer from lifelong pain.

Related Resources:

Source: http://blogs.findlaw.com/injured/2017/11/5-biggest-recent-slip-and-fall-cases.html?

Concerns You Might Have After a Car Accident

Getting into a car accident is scary, overwhelming, and stressful. The time and energy required after the fact to get everything fixed and ironed out is consuming. That is why it is helpful to get an attorney to guide you through everything. Everyone has questions about what happens next after your car is hit. The article below gives examples of common questions people have that you can ask your attorney during your consultation.

When most of us think of negligence and injury, the classic example is the simple car accident. We all owe a duty to drive carefully, someone breached that duty by driving irresponsibly or ignoring a traffic sign or signal, this causes a crash, and someone else is injured. Perhaps negligence and car accidents are so closely linked because so many lawsuits follow accidents.

But as seemingly familiar as so many people are with accidents and the personal injury lawsuits that follow, we still have questions. Here are seven of the most common car accident lawsuit questions, and where to find the answers:

1. Car Accident Investigations: How Do They Work?

Investigations are the first thing that happens after a car accident, whether you realize it or not. And gathering as much information as soon as possible after the accident can have a big impact on any lawsuits that may follow.

2. How Long After a Car Accident Can You Sue?

After an accident, you may not even be sure you need to sue, much less if you want to or can. But there are statutes of limitation that can bar lawsuits if you wait too long.

3.Who Do I Sue in an Accident With Multiple Cars?

Liability in a simple fender bender can be pretty easy to figure out. But who’s liable in a multi-car pileup?

4. Car Accident Claims: What Are General Damages?

Just as there are limits on when and whom you can sue after a car accident, there are limits to what compensation you might be entitled to, if you win your lawsuit.

5. How Much Can a Passenger Recover After a Car Accident?

Far too often, passengers suffer the worst injuries in car crashes. But are they entitled to the same amount in damages? What if they were in the car that was at fault?

6. Car Accident Death: What Are Your Rights?

Basic negligence lawsuits can easily become wrongful death lawsuits when the destructive power of automobiles comes into play. Find out the difference here, and how that could affect your rights.

7. Car Accident Claims: Do I Need My Own Lawyer?

The vast majority of car accident claims are handled by insurance companies. But insurers are notoriously stingy, and those settlements don’t always cover the full cost of injuries or damage. And some insurance companies will look for reimbursement from liable parties. Make sure you’re protected.

Related Resources:

Source: http://blogs.findlaw.com/injured/2017/10/top-7-car-accident-lawsuit-questions.html?

Serving Lawsuit Papers

If you file a lawsuit against someone, the court typically sends a process server to the defendant to let them know that they are being sued. What you might not think about however, is what happens when the process server can’t track the person down. The article below explains this process and alternative methods of serving a defendant. Continue reading to learn about it.

Remember Seth Rogen’s character in Pineapple Express? No, he wasn’t a butler — he was a process server, an obscure yet essential part of the legal system tasked with delivering the bad news of a lawsuit to the person being sued. After all, if people don’t know they’re being haled into court, it’s kind of hard to defend themselves.

Because service of process is the necessary first step to a lawsuit, many think if they can just avoid the process server for long enough, they can’t be sued (hence Rogen’s disguises). But is that true?

Fruitless Searching

The issue has come to the forefront of the news after Montana real estate agent Tanya Gersh sued the owner of the racist website Daily Stormer, claiming he unleashed a “tsunami of threats” against her and her family. Gersh is being represented by attorneys from the Southern Poverty Law Center, who have thus far been unable to locate and serve Andrew Anglin with the suit.

The process servers hired by the SPLC have made a grand total of 15 visits to seven addresses linked to Anglin, including four different Ohio addresses, but couldn’t find him. “One process server said she believes Anglin barricaded himself inside one of the addresses,” according to Ars Technica. In addition, attempts to serve Anglin via certified mail were all returned as undeliverable. Until he is properly served, the lawsuit against Anglin can’t proceed.

Constructive Notice

But there’s another twist to that — service by publication. If a plaintiff can show the court that no other method of service has been effective, they can publish a notice in a newspaper. So long as the newspaper is in general circulation where the defendant is likely to be found or where the court is located and is published on more than one occasion (like weekly for three weeks), the court will consider the defendant served, whether he or she actually reads the notice or not. Gersh’s attorneys have allegedly begun this more cumbersome and expensive procedure already.

The perhaps not-so-funny part about the efforts to serve Anglin in this case is that he is plainly aware of the lawsuit. Soon after the lawsuit was filed in April, he published a post on Daily Stormer entitled, “SPLC is Suing Anglin! Donate Now to STOP THESE K***S!” He retained Las Vegas attorney Marc Randazza, who told the AP, “Everybody deserves to have their constitutional rights defended.” Randazza also addressed the service problems and accusations that he had ignored calls and emails from SPLC attorneys asking him to accept service on behalf of his client, albeit rather obliquely. “Would you say that touchdowns are avoiding being scored in a shutout football game?” he rhetorically asked the New York Times. “Or would you say that the offense is not scoring them?”

A defendant has no legal obligation to assist the plaintiff in a lawsuit, including making themselves available for service. Fortunately for plaintiffs, hiding from a lawsuit they clearly know exists won’t help a defendant avoid being held accountable in court.

Related Resources:

Source: http://blogs.findlaw.com/law_and_life/2017/09/does-a-lawsuit-end-if-the-defendant-cant-be-served.html?

Considerations When Determining Child Custody

If you and your former spouse are in the middle of a divorce and it is time to decide and agree on custody of your children there are important considerations to make. If you hire Tijjani Law to serve as legal representation we can walk you through the process, but it is helpful to think about your answers to the five questions in the article below. Hopefully these considerations help your custody process go smoother!

Whether you’re just getting divorced or still hashing out custody issues with an old ex, you’re probably wondering if you need the help of an attorney. Beyond having expertise in the field generally and familiarity with the court or judges involved specifically, an experienced child custody lawyer can act as a reasoned buffer between you and your ex (and possibly his or her attorney).

But how do you get a sense of the custody procedures and process and figure out which custody lawyer is right for you? Here are five questions to ask a potential child custody attorney, before you hire them.

1. Can You Make a Child Custody Agreement out of Court?

Most of us don’t like the idea of leaving it to a judge to sort out family issues. And some of us don’t want to air dirty laundry in court. So is there any way to avoid hearings while coming to an agreement on child custody? You do have options — here are a few of them.

2. What’s the Difference Between Split Custody and Joint Custody?

Unsurprisingly, child custody isn’t a black-and-white, either-or kind of scenario. There are different types of custody, and a million different ways to write a custody agreement that works for everyone. But before that you need to know exactly what your options are, and which might be best for you and your child.

3. What Are the Penalties for Avoiding Child Support?

While distinct legal issues, child custody and child support are inextricably linked for parents. After all, how much you pay may be dependent on how much custody you have. But, you can’t withhold child support just because your ex withheld visitation access. Here’s what you need to know.

4. When Should You Appeal a Child Custody Ruling?

Sometimes some new, previously unknown facts come to light. Sometimes our circumstances change. There are myriad reasons to alter an existing child custody agreement, and the process for amendment or appeal can be different depending on those circumstances and the type of original custody plan.

5. How Much Will a Lawyer Cost?

This is the main concern for most parents. Obviously you want the best possible representation, but you may have a limited budget. Lawyer’s fees often fluctuate depending on skill and experience, but here are some other factors to look for.

Related Resources:

Source: http://blogs.findlaw.com/law_and_life/2017/08/5-questions-to-ask-when-hiring-a-child-custody-lawyer.html?

Using an Attorney for Naturalization Processes

According to the United States Department of Homeland Security, “Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is granted to a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).” (Source: https://www.uscis.gov/us-citizenship/citizenship-through-naturalization)
If you are going through the naturalization process and think you need an attorney, read the article below and then give Tijjani Law a call!

Naturalization describes the process by which people not born in the United States or to U.S.-citizen parents can become citizens themselves, a process that can be long, extensive, and complicated. Given the language barrier, the numerous necessary documents, and the unfamiliarity with the naturalization process, many immigrants seeking citizenship never begin the process, get swamped in legalese, or have their applications denied.

While there is no statutory requirement for you to hire an immigration lawyer to file for citizenship, you may want to have someone with some professional experience on your side to guide you through the naturalization process.

Americans and English

One of the requirements of U.S. citizenship is an ability to read, write, and speak English. But basic language comprehension is one thing, and navigating the immigration and naturalization process is quite another. And if you have any difficulty reading and understanding English, applying for citizenship can seem impossible.

Most immigration attorneys will either be fluent in the language of their clients, or offer an interpreter or translator to aid the process. And an experienced naturalization lawyer will also be fluent in the legal requirements for citizenship. It is important that you and your attorney can understand each other, and what’s required in the naturalization process.

Proof and Documentation

There are several requirements an applicant must meet in order to be granted citizenship, and they will all require some form of proof or documentation. There are dozens of forms or documents that will make up your application, from color photographs of your face and biographical information to marriage certificates and IRS agreements. Understanding which documents need to be filed with Citizenship and Immigration Services — and what those documents should contain — can be difficult without legal assistance.

Time and Experience

A good immigration and naturalization lawyer will tell you just what to expect from the naturalization process, and an experienced attorney knows what Citizenship and Immigration Services wants to see on an application. A lawyer can give you an idea of how long the process might take, provide updates throughout the process, and may even be able to help you prepare for the examination segment. And an attorney can ensure that your application has everything necessary to give you the best shot at citizenship.

Whether you have difficulty understanding English, need assistance gathering the necessary documents, or just want to know why some applications are denied so you can avoid the same fate, you can find experienced immigration attorneys in our directory.

Related Resources:

Source: http://blogs.findlaw.com/law_and_life/2017/07/do-i-need-a-lawyer-for-naturalization.html?

Public Welfare for Immigrants

There are many uncertainties regarding immigration and the status of immigrants’ citizenship in our country right now. For those that have come to America looking for a better life with lack of financial means or missed opportunities for jobs, there could be question if it is possible to receive assistance. The article below explains what the current guidelines are.

One of the most contentious issues in the U.S. immigration debate involves the provision of public assistance to immigrants. Recently, during a rally, President Donald Trump riled up his crowd by stating that he planned on a passing a law preventing immigrants from receiving welfare benefits for their first five years in the country.

This statement not only drew cheers from Trump’s crowd, known to be anti-immigration, but it also drew much criticism. The criticism focused on the fact that a law to this effect has already existed for 20 years.

Clearly there is some confusion on this issue. Although immigrants are banned from federal welfare benefits, it’s important for immigrants to know that there are some exceptions. Also, there are non-federal resources an immigrant may be able to utilize.

Pay to Play Citizenship

Under the 20-year-old law, immigrants are not entitled to federal public assistance, or benefits, until the individual has been in the country for five years. This eligibility requirement is intended to prevent immigrants from coming to the country solely to receive public assistance.

However, true to our nation’s ideology, there are exceptions for refugees, children, and individuals victimized by crime or corrupt governments. Generally, the exceptions in place already provide for those immigrants that qualify to be eligible for limited federal welfare programs tailored to help by providing food stamps, and other assistance.

Public Benefits for Immigrants

While federal welfare benefit programs impose this five-year limit on eligibility for immigrants, many state and local social welfare programs do not. In addition to state and local assistance programs, there are private non-profit organizations that will provide assistance regardless of citizenship, residency, or documented status.

Even though it may seem fiscally unsound to provide public benefits to recent immigrants, doing so is much more likely to lead to a successful transition. By allowing immigrants the same resources available to residents and citizens, society on a whole benefits, as those denied welfare assistance generally are at a higher risk of needing more costly emergency, or medical, assistance, or worse.

For assistance with legal immigration issues, contact an experienced immigration lawyer as soon as possible.

Related Resources:

Source: http://blogs.findlaw.com/law_and_life/2017/06/can-immigrants-get-public-welfare.html?