A 36 year old St. Petersburg woman was tragically killed when she found herself trapped inside her apartment building. She was on the phone with her mother when she told her she had to hang up because she smelled smoke. Sadly, this would be her mother’s last communication with her daughter. As she left her second floor apartment and tried to make her way down the interior stairway, she succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning. After the firm investigated the circumstances of her death, it was discovered that the apartment building was in violation of numerous provisions of the fire safety codes. The fire was started by a mentally challenged resident of the apartments who was supposed to be under the supervision of a state agency but had been allowed to slip through the cracks. The apartment owners tried to deflect responsibility by arguing that the fire was started by an arson that was out of their control and that even if they had made the upgrades required by the fire code, the death could not have been avoided. The firm was able to make a strong case on behalf of the Estate that ultimately resulted in a substantial settlement.
Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death
In August of 2009, a medical doctor and a mother of two young children bled to death following a laparoscopic appendectomy. Her husband, also a medical doctor as the Personal Representative of his wife's estate, filed suit against the surgeon, Ernest C. Rehnke and the hospital for her wrongful-death and for the pain and suffering endured by her husband and two children. Mark H. Perenich represented the family and after extensive discovery, it was learned that his wife had complained that her blood pressure was too low, which is an obvious sign of hypotension. Despite her plea, she went into cardiac arrest 16 hours after the surgery and died the next day. The case was vigorously litigated and eventually settled for a significant confidential settlement.
In July of 2012, a wrongful-death case was filed on the behalf of an estate following the death of gentleman who was murdered in a double capital murder at the hands of Patrick A. Evans, who was a former Vice President for Jabil Circuit. He was survived by his young daughter. Mark H. Perenich tried the case before a Pinellas County Jury who returned an award for $54,026,084.13. Included in the verdict was an award to the estate of $26,000.00 in funeral expenses, $4,000,000.00 in pain and suffering endured by the daughter for compensatory damages and $50,000,000 in punitive damages.
As reported in the St. Petersburg Times, Tampa Bay's BayNews9, Tampa Tribune, and Channel 8 News, the law firm of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes, P.A. obtained a verdict in excess of $2,000,000 for the surviving parents of a 17-year-old Tampa high school baseball player after his tragic death. Board Certified Civil Trial Attorneys Bryan Caulfield and Lorrie Robinson, with assistance from Attorney Matthew Noyes, were successful in obtaining this verdict in a case involved the wrongful death of 17-year-old Matthew Miulli who died during conditioning for the Alonzo High School baseball team in January 2005. The lawsuit alleged that the Hillsborough County School Board failed to use reasonable care in allowing Matt Miulli to participate in the conditioning activities without first obtaining a pre-participation physical examination. In the consolidated medical malpractice case, the jury heard argument that Matt Miulli's pediatrician, who was co-managing Matts cardiac condition with the cardiologist breached the prevailing standard of care by clearing Matt for baseball without first confirming that there was clearance from Matts cardiologist.
Following Matts death, many positive thing occurred through the efforts of his parents, Kathy and Jim Miulli. Through their efforts in Hillsborough County and in Tallahassee, two additional ambulances were funded and youth sports received funding for defibrillators. Although Matts death was tragic, many lives have been saved.
A 40 year old mother of three is admitted to the hospital for routine urological surgery. Post surgery she is given an epidural for pain. During the night her blood pressure drops causing her to become hypovolemic. An order for a blood transfusion is given. There is a substantial delay by the nurses in transfusing the blood. The next morning when the 7:00 AM nurse takes over the patient's care, her neurological examination reveals that the patient is paralyzed from her chest down. With permanent total disability to a woman barely in her forties, the case settled for more than $4,000,000!
This particular legal malpractice case was originally a medical malpractice case. The attorney originally hired to bring about the medical malpractice failed to file suit within the appropriate time period allotted for medical malpractice claims. As a result, the client's statute of limitations had run out, and she was unable to receive any compensation for her suffering and losses from those directly responsible. Mr. Avril had to prove, not only the negligence of the lawyer and law firm, but he also had to prove that the doctors and hospital had ultimately caused his client's injuries. Having to prove the medical malpractice first, and the fact that the injury in question occurred some 9 years before the case was set for trial and since many hospital employees had since left their jobs and moved to different parts of the country, made this a particularly complex and logistically difficult task. Medical experts, legal experts and damage experts were used to strengthen the foundation of the case, resulting in a settlement of more than $2,000,000.
Wrongful Death Suit
A 9 year old boy was playing at a friend's house when the friend found his father's .357 magnum gun. The two boys were playing with the gun when the friend accidentally shot the young boy in the head. Sadly, the 9 year old died shortly thereafter at the hospital. Settlement was in excess of one million dollars.
Medical Malpractice / Wrongful Death
A 40 year old man went to the emergency room of a local hospital for chest pains and heart problems. An x-ray was taken but never read. The father of two was left unattended for the next 5-7 hours and went into cardiac arrest. After being transported to another local hospital, he died. Extensive investigation revealed that one of the doctors on call had left his pager in his desk and hence delayed the administering of proper medical treatment for the patient. Meanwhile, hospital workers had misplaced the patient for about an hour, also contributing to a critical delay in treatment. It was successfully argued that the lack of medical care and negligent procedures on the part of the hospital ultimately lead to the patient's wrongful death. Settlement was in excess of one million dollars.
Plaintiff sustained injuries after being struck by a sanitation truck. Expert testimony by the Highway Patrol established the driver of the truck had a blood-alcohol level more than three times the legal limit when he struck the victim. The firm proved that the owners of the sanitation company had hired a driver with a history of drunken driving and a suspended driver's license, and that the driver had been arrested for drunk driving while under the employment of the company.
Attorneys Give Control of Medical Care Back to Injured Worker
Following a work injury, clients of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes are forced to treat with only those doctors that the insurance company allows them to see. The attorneys of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes have fought and succeeded in negotiating workers' compensation settlements that give the injured workers the moneys to obtain medical treatment with their own doctors without the hassles of the workers' compensation companies.
Client Obtains Social Security Disability Benefits with Help of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes
Despite two prior denials by the Social Security Administration, the attorneys of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes, P.A. were successful in securing Social Security Disability benefits for a client suffering from a bad back that prevents him from returning to work. Perenich, Caulfield, Avril's attorneys argued the case in front of the Administrative Law Judge who awarded both back and future social security disability benefits for the client.
Poor Lighting on Restaurant Stairs Causes Serious Back Injury
In an intentionally dimly lit restaurant foyer, a woman missed the last step when the door was opened widely and let in a blast of bright sunlight. She fell and badly injured her back. The restaurant laughed off the liability claim until depositions were taken of the owner and other employees. It seems that over the prior several years eight to ten other patrons had fallen at exactly the same place while descending the stairs. An expert was able to demonstrate with his light meter and knowledge of safety standards that the foyer stairs were dangerous. A fair settlement was negotiated just before the identities of the previous falling patrons were to be revealed under court order.
Motorcycle Injury Results in $1 Million Recovery For Client
A Vero Beach man riding his vintage Harley Davidson bike was driving through and intersection when a truck turned into him as if he wasn’t even there. Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes attorneys pursued the case in Indian River County, and were successful in a recovery of $1 Million for the client. The firm has handled cases like this throughout Florida since its start in 1955.
Attorneys Fight for Little Girl
After their 2-year old client broke her arm because the supervisors of the daycare center failed to supervise, the attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes obtained a settlement in favor of the little girl. During our investigation, it was discovered that the supervisors failed to watch the little girl and allowed her to play on equipment not suitable for her age.
Attorneys Recover Policy Limits Following Severe Automobile Collision
A teenager's reckless joyride resulted in a lifetime of pain and limitation to one of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes. The teenager was showing off for friends when he lost control of his vehicle causing a head-on collision with the firm's client's vehicle. The collision resulted in a fractured wrist requiring surgery, numerous stitches, and a damaged knee requiring surgery. As a result, the attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril were successful in securing policy limits for their client.
Two Injured on Casino Boat Secure Settlement
Two women were injured after the speeding shuttle boat carrying the women from the ship was unable to stop and ran into another boat. Both were injured as a result of the boat captain's negligence. Following settlement discussions, each case was resolved without the necessity of a jury trial.
Industrial Construction Accident Resulting in Quadriplegia
In January of 2000, an industrial accident occurred where a 31 year old man fell from a three story building under construction. As a result of the fall he was rendered quadriplegic. Mark H. Perenich filed suit against the property owner, who chose to undertake the construction project without the retention of a general contractor. The defendant claimed immunity from liability under the Florida Worker’s Compensation statutory scheme. Following an appeal to the Florida Second District Court of appeal and after two prior mediations, the case was settled for a significant sum under a confidential agreement. As a result of the appeal, the Florida Legislature modified the Worker’s Compensation.
Interstate Wrongful Death Accident
In 1986, Mark H. Perenich filed a wrongful death law suit in DeFuniak Springs, Florida which claimed the life of a 46 year old husband and father of two young children. The family was traveling westbound on Interstate 10 at night in a conversion van. The mother and two young children were in the back of the van watching a Disney video when their van inexplicably ran into the back of a large moving van. The wrongful-death case was filed in Pensacola, Florida on behalf the estate and for the benefit of the mother and two children. After protracted litigation and extensive discovery, it was learned that the tractor trailer moving van had developed mechanical difficulties travelling from Jacksonville to DeFuniak Springs and was unable to develop full power and could not maintain the mandatory minimum interstate posted speed of 40 miles per hour. Despite the time it took to travel west along the Interstate 10,
The driver of the moving van elected to not use State Road 90, which also runs east and west along the Florida Panhandle and which did not require a minimum posted speed.
Water Drowning Wrongful Death Cases
In May of 2002, a 52 year old husband drowned at St. Andrews State Park in Panama City, Florida after he attempted to rescue two 20 year olds who had been swept out into the Gulf of Mexico as the result of a severe rip current. Although he successfully rescued one swimmer, he drowned attempting to rescue the other swimmer. A U.S. Coast Guard rescue diver saved the second swimmer. Suit was brought against the State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection by Mark H. Perenich in Bay County, alleging that the State had failed to provide an adequate warning system to alert beach goers of dangerous rip currents that regularly cause vacationers to drown along the waters of the Panhandle. After numerous depositions and court hearings, the case was eventually settled with the state of Florida Department of Environmental Protection. There were no open-water life guards on duty at the time the two swimmers were swept out into the Gulf of Mexico.
Then in July of 2003, a 14 year old girl drowned at Panama City beach after she and three others who were walking in thigh deep were swept into the Gulf of Mexico by rip currents during the 4th of July holiday celebration. The young girl had come to the beach from Alabama with a church group, which was well attended with church parents as chaperons. A nearby beach goer went into the water with a boogie board and was able to rescue everyone except the 14 year old girl. There were no open-water life guards on duty. Mark H. Perenich filed another wrongful death lawsuit in Walton County on behalf of her estate and surviving parents, who were devastated by the unexpected loss of their daughter. In the course of the litigation, it was learned that the beach patrol employees working for the City of Panama City Beach had witnessed numerous times locals and tourists had been unsuspectingly swept out into the Gulf of Mexico. Mr. Perenich retained "Dr. Beach,” a nationally renowned expert from south Florida who had documented how rip currents develop and strengthen and how they were especially prevalent only to the Panhandle of Florida because of the deep slope of the continental shelf. After the case was settled, the parents allocated the proceeds to a non-profit foundation designed to bring attention to the dangers of rip currents in the hopes of preventing future tragedies.
Mr. Perenich was able to successful prosecute these cases in Bay County and cases throughout the State of Florida, in part, because he is an instrument rated private pilot with access to a Beach Bonanza A-36.