Archive for February, 2010

h1

Corinthian Colleges and Everest University Sued For Overtime Pay Violations; Suit filed by The Maus Law Firm in Pompano Beach, FL

February 26, 2010

POMPANO, Fla.–(EON: Enhanced Online News)–A campus admissions representative has sued Everest University, a subsidiary of Corinthian Colleges, for alleged overtime pay violations at Everest’s Pompano Beach, FL campus. The suit, filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, seeks to recover overtime pay for existing and former campus admissions representatives at all campuses for Everest University, and Florida Metropolitan University, as it was previously known, dating back to July 2007.

The suit is unique in that it is filed on behalf of a current employee at Everest that is still working at the Pompano Beach campus. According to the Plaintiff’s attorney, Joseph Maus, it is rare that an overtime suit is filed by an existing employee for fear of being retaliated against by the employer. Attorney Maus filed the lawsuit with his partner, Charles Bechert, both in Pompano Beach. They say the law that governs overtime pay, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), prohibits an employer from taking any type of retaliatory action against an employee for pursuing their rights to overtime pay. If a willful violation of the FLSA is proven, the employees can recover the full amount of their past due overtime pay, plus an equal amount in the form of liquidated damages.

The lawsuit seeks a court order to allow other current and former admissions representatives from the Pompano Beach campus, as well as all other Everest and Corinthian campuses, to join as plaintiffs in the action to recover past due overtime pay. A Motion to Permit Court Supervised Notice advising other admissions representatives of their right to join the lawsuit was filed by Plaintiff on December 17, 2009. If the Motion is granted by the Court, a notice would be mailed to all current and former campus admissions representatives advising them of their right to join the lawsuit and recover any overtime pay they may be due.

This is not the first time Corinthian Colleges has been sued for its failure to pay overtime wages to admissions representatives. Corinthian was sued in 2008 in Illinois by an admissions representative that worked more than 40 hours per week, yet was not paid his overtime pay. It was also argued to the Court that other admissions representatives were also shorted on their overtime pay, and the Court allowed other admissions representatives to join that suit.

Corinthian Colleges is a publicly traded corporation, and one of the largest for-profit post secondary education providers in the United States. Corinthian Colleges has approximately 100 campuses throughout the United States and Canada.

A trial date has been set for the two week trial period beginning June 28, 2010.

For more information, contact attorney Joseph M. Maus at (866) 556-5529, www.mauslawfirm.com.

Contacts

The Maus Law Firm
Joseph M. Maus, 954-784 6310
Fax, 954-941-8363
jmaus@mauslawfirm.com

Permalink: http://eon.businesswire.com/news/eon/20100223007216/en/Corinthian-college-overtime-pay/Fair-Labor-Standards-Act/Overtime-wage-claim

h1

South Florida Ranks Third in Pedestrian/Car Accidents

February 26, 2010

Pedestrians beware:  Florida’s roadways can be hazardous to your health. The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Traffic Statistics Report states that 502 pedestrians were killed in Florida car accidents across the state in 2008 alone.
Furthermore, a study by Transportation for America reported that, though the national average for pedestrian deaths is 1.26 per 100,000 people, Florida averages almost 2.5 times that amount or 3.02 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people. This is due in part to the recession and cutbacks to services which require people to use more public transit or to walk more often.

If you are a walker, hiker, or biker, you might want to think about changing your habits if you live in Florida. Researchers at the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership developed the Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI) in the 1990s in order to establish a level playing field for comparing metropolitan areas based on the danger to pedestrians.The most dangerous areas for pedestrians in the state are Orlando/Kissimmee (Pedestrian Danger Index: 221.50) and Tampa/St. Petersburg (Pedestrian Danger Index: 205.50), with South Florida coming in at a close third in the rankings. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach
has a Pedestrian Danger Index of 181.2. Compare this with metro-Atlanta which only rates a Pedestrian Danger Index of 108.3!

Florida’s rapid growth also contributes to the problem. When a state gets a large influx of people, things like bike paths and sidewalks get put on the back burner so the state can keep up with the traffic increases.
In a recession, budget cuts force the state to scale back even more. Transportation for America reports that although 16.9% of Florida traffic deaths were pedestrians, just 1.5% of Federal transportation funds allocated to the state are spent on pedestrian and bicycle projects.

Walkinginfo.org gives tips that can pedestrians use to avoid being a South Florida car accident statistic:

  • Wear bright/light colored clothing and clothing with reflective materials – make sure you can be seen by drivers in all types of lighting (sunny, rainy, night time, etc).
  • Don’t assume vehicles will stop; make eye contact with drivers, don’t just look at the vehicle. If a driver is on a cell phone, they may not be paying enough attention to drive safely.
  • Don’t take chances – cross at cross walks and obey traffic signals instead of trying to rush across an intersection between cars.
  • LOOK before crossing – don’t just rely on traffie signals – the driver may be rushing to beat the light.
  • Carry a flash light when walking at night.
  • Stand clear of buses, hedges, parked cars or other obstacles before crossing so drivers can see you.
  • Always walk on the sidewalk; if there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic.
  • Stay sober; walking while impaired increases your chance of being struck.
  • Don’t wear headphones or talk on a cell phone while crossing.

They also give tips to help drivers avoid hitting pedestrians in South Florida car accidents:

  • Yield to pedestrians, even if they are where they shouldn’t be.
  • Look carefully behind your vehicle for approaching pedestrians before backing-up, especially small children.
  • Scan the road and the sides of the road ahead for potential pedestrians.
  • Before making a turn, look in all directions for pedestrians crossing.
  • For maximum visibility, keep your windshield clean and headlights on.
  • Do not use your cell phone while driving.
  • Never pass/overtake a vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians.
  • Use extra caution when driving near children playing along the street or older pedestrians who may not see or hear you.

For more information about pedestrians and South Florida car accidents, contact the Florida auto accident lawyers at Joseph M. Maus, P.A.at 1-866-556-5529 or email them today.

h1

Florida Job Injury Question – Back Injury Settlement

February 25, 2010

The following is an expert answer given by Florida job injury lawyer, Joseph M. Maus, and taken from AllExperts.com, a free Q & A service on the internet:

Question: I was hurt at work and had surgery on my back – disc surgery. I got paid for time off and now I’m back to work. I am working normally with slight pain. The workers comp insurance called me and sent me mail to settle the case. They are offering me $49,999 to settle my case without lawyers. I did not ask for anything – they called me and offered me a settlement.

What should I do? Can I settle it myself? How do I go about getting the money and would that be the best solution for me without risking my employment? Is it better to get a lawyer and why?

What can I do to improve my case with the workers comp insurance? Do I have to settle the case? Would I get a better deal if I hired a lawyer to represent me?

Answer: The most important factor affecting the answer to your questions was left out.  That is, what state you live in.  Workers compensation laws, and the benefits you may be entitled to, vary from state to state.  I am a Florida attorney specializing in serious injury and accident claims, including workers compensation.  I can only tell you how the laws work in a Florida job injury, so my advice to you is to speak with an accident injury lawyer in your area to get specific advice.

There are many factors that affect a workers compensation settlement.  The primary issue is how much exposure the insurance company has in the future if your claim were to remain open.  For example, what exposure does the insurance company have for future medical care, wage benefits, vocational retraining, is there any exposure to permanent total disability benefits, etc.  Without having a chance to review your medical records, it would be next to impossible to give you an accurate estimate of the settlement value for your case.

Your email indicates the insurance company has offered you $49,999 to settle.  Most likely, the insurance company is referring to "impairment benefits" which are paid out to a claimant based upon the impairment rating given to them by the doctor.  At least in Florida, an insurance company is required to pay these to you once you receive the impairment rating from your doctor, so their offer to pay them to you as a settlement offer seems a little ridiculous.

The best advice I can give you is do speak with an attorney that specializes workers compensation.  He can advise you what the law is in your area, and what your options are.  Workers Comp in most states is entirely a creation of the State’s statutes and as such, all rights you have, and obligations the employers insurance company have, are set out in the Statutes.  You may, and I emphasize may b/c I don’t know your State’s laws, have rights different than what we have in Florida.  The settlement value of your claim would be based in part upon options that still exist for you within the WC laws of your state.

Most attorneys specializing in workers compensation claims handle the claims on a contingent basis,i.e. their attorney fees are a percentage of any money they recover for you. In a Florida job injury, it is usually about 25% of the gross settlement amount.  Most workers comp attorneys also offer a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss whether you have a viable case.  So you really have nothing to lose by speaking to an experienced workers compensation lawyer.  If you don’t like what you hear, you’re not obligated.

I get asked quite often whether it is best to hire an injury accident lawyer to settle a claim.  My response is always – absolutely yes.  In 17 years of doing accident injury claims, I have yet to have a client come into the office with what I considered to be a fair offer from an insurance company, without the assistance of an attorney.  I wouldn’t attempt my own dental or medical work, do a serious repair on my car, or re-wire my house on my own. Leave it to the experts.  The old saying is don’t be penny wise, but pound foolish.

If you are an injured worker in Florida, I would tell you that there really is no way to give you an accurate answer to all your questions without spending some time with you speaking about your case, your employment history and job skills, your age, and looking at your medical records and doctor opinions.  You do not have to settle a workers compensation claim in Florida, so you should be careful about negotiations directly with the insurance company.

For more information about a Florida job injury claim, contact Florida work accident compensation lawyer Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529 or email him today.

h1

Florida Walmart Slip and Fall Question – Expert Advice from a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer

February 21, 2010

The following is an expert answer given by Florida Personal Injury Lawyer, Joseph M. Maus, and taken from AllExperts.com, a free Q & A service on the internet:

Question:

I fell in the parking lot at Wal-mart. I was crossing over the median of the parking lot. As I stepped down off the curb, I fell. It was raining that night and there were puddles. I didn’t notice the pavement near the curb was cracked and sunken as the puddle covered it. I felt something snap in my left foot and some minor burning in my right knee. I tried to get up and I couldn’t put any weight on my left foot. My boyfriend and a person driving by stopped and helped me up and back to my car. My boyfriend went in to the service desk to notify the manager of the incident. One employee came out at first, then the manager came out and helped me into a wheel chair. He took me in to the store to sign some papers and told me to call the number at the bottom of the page the next day. The manager also stated he was going to take pictures of my foot, but didn’t. By time I got into the store, it was purple and pretty swollen. I took pictures of my foot at the hospital. I was told at the hospital that I needed to go see a specialist and was to make an appointment on that following Monday. Also I was not to put any weight on my left foot.

I tried calling the number the store Manager told me to call, but to no avail – they were out until Monday morning. I called back on Monday. I was asked for the claim number and store number that was supposed to be on the paper the store manager had given me, but there was no claim # or store #, so I had to call the store to get the store number. I was told they needed my statement for them to investigate, but the lady I spoke to told me that someone else would be contacting me back to take my statement. I asked about what I needed to do about the hospital bill and the specialist I’m suppose to go see. I was told to take from my pocket or my insurance and they would reimburse me when they were done investigating if they sided with me. I have no insurance and the cost of the doctor that the hospital referred me to is too costly for me to pay out of pocket.

What can I do about this?

My foot is still swollen, I can’t bend my big toe, and pain is shooting up the back of my leg. I’m on crutches and have a brace on my shin to the bottom of my foot. Since being on crutches, my hip is hurting and so is my back.

Answer:
I can try to provide you with some helpful information about your fall, but please consult with an attorney in your area to determine whether you have a valid claim.  Your email does not indicate where you live.  I am a Florida personal injury lawyer specializing in serious accidents such as car accident, trip and falls, and work accidents.  Laws vary from state to state so the law in your area may be different that in Florida.

What happened to you is a fairly common occurrence – tripping over uneven, sunken or broken pavement in a paved parking lot.  I currently represent several people that have similar claims, either in a parking lot or on a sidewalk.  Keep in mind that in Florida, a person or company is not automatically responsible for your injuries and medical bills just because you tripped and fell on on their property.  A property owner in Florida owes two duties to persons legally on the property – 1. to maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition, and 2. to warn people of dangerous conditions that are not obvious or apparent.

Wal Mart, or the person or entity that owns and/or maintains the parking lot may be responsible to you for your injuries and medical bills if the condition that caused you to fall was one that they knew about, or existed for a long enough period of time that they should have known about it. Uneven, sunken or cracked pavement is a condition that usually occurs over time, either due to erosion, tree roots growing nearby, or just wear and tear, so it is more than likely that Wal Mart knew or should have known about this dangerous condition.

The best advice I can give you is to speak with an attorney specializing in trip and fall injury accidents in your area to see whether you should pursue a claim.  An experienced trip and fall lawyer is going to know the laws in your area and how best to proceed.  Most slip and fall lawyers handle cases on a contingent basis which means if the lawyer does not recover any money for your claim, there is no charge for costs or attorney’s fees.  Most Florida personal injury lawyers will also offer a free, no-obligation consultation, so you have nothing to lose by meeting to discuss your claim.

Walmart’s reaction to your claim is not unusual.  Keep in mind that Walmart has hundreds of very large stores in which thousands of shoppers go in and out of every day.  Walmart’s employees deal with accidents like your every day.  Walmart has a very detailed and specific employee handbook on how to deal with claims like yours.  It is a pretty routine procedure for their employees. However, you should speak with an accident injury lawyer before you give a statement to Wal Mart.

Most attorneys that do these type of accident injury cases have handled cases against Wal Mart before.  Experienced accident injury lawyers know that Wal Mart claims are handled out of Bentonville, AK by inhouse adjusters.  As I mentioned above, Wal Mart has a very lengthy employee handbook for how their employees are to handle incidents such as yours.  If you want to contact Wal Mart yourself, you need to call them in Arkansas and find the claim #, and the name of the adjustor assigned to handling the case. BUT – if you’re considering getting an attorney, I would do it before you speak to Wal Mart.

For more information, call Florida personal injury lawyer Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529, visit his website at mauslawfirm.com or email him today.

h1

Florida Personal Injury Accidents – Child Breaks Wrist at School – Expert Advice

February 19, 2010

The following is an expert answer given by Florida Personal Injury Accidents Lawyer, Joseph M. Maus, and taken from AllExperts.com, a free Q & A service on the internet:

Subject: Son injured at Montessori school

Question: My son is 5 years old and enrolled in a private Montessori school nursery for Kindergarten.   He was playing in the school’s "smaller" playground when a boy pushed him aside and landed on him and his hand. This was the school’s story…. The school notified us and we went to pick up our son and iced his hand for the rest of the day. We then noticed he was not using his hand or bending it.  Alarmed, we took him to the ER the next day and discovered his wrist was fractured!!!!  Yet he insisted the incident occured on the grass.  He now has a cast on his arm and we are confused as we all know a big kid can’t break another kids bones???   We returned to the school on Monday with doubt and questions.  Our son showed us where and how he fell.  We discovered the already "small" playground had a cement walkway surrounding the grass area; however it was poorly covered with green turf to of course resemble grass (to a 5 yr old anyway).    We then realized he had broken his wrist on the cement not by the boy landing on him.   We reported the finding to the school secretary as the principal was in a conference. We also asked  why it was improperly reported and we were not handed an injury report on the day of the incident.

The report was then handed to us 4 days later only to read that our son had tripped and fallen on the ground and several kids had fallen on him (yet another story).

We are in shock that the school has such poor playground safety, poor manners of handling incidents and not honest at all.    There should be at least rubber padding or 4 inches of separation from the ground to the cement.   We took photos of the area.   The principal or head of school has yet to return our call for a meeting and it has been a week and a half since the incident.  Our son does not want to go back to school and we don’t trust the school at all.  The safety is poor and we want to report them as well as have them pay for the medical bills. Should we receive compensation and just how liable are they??? Clearly not safe for our son so he is not attending but how do we proceed with closure???

Answer: Your email does not indicate what state you live in.  I am a Florida personal injury accidents lawyer specializing in auto accident injuries, premises liability claims, and Florida workers compensation claims.  I can only advise you on what the law is in Florida personal injury accidents, so it is best that you speak to an accident attorney in your area to find out what rights you may have.

A school is held responsible for dangerous conditions which they know about, or should know about, and their failure to protect the children at the school from the dangers.  However, I am not aware of any laws in Florida that require a school to have rubber padding on cement areas surrounding a playground.  Because he was injured at a kindergarten, there may be additional safety requirements for playgrounds, but you need to speak with an experienced accident injury lawyer in your state to investigate further.

It is not unusual to get different versions of injuries to children at school.  If the school fabricated the initial story, that is obviously unacceptable.  It may just be the teachers did not see what happened, and they are left to rely on other students accounts of what happened. Regardless, the school should have filled out an incident report detailing all the facts surrounding the incident.

Most school have insurance for the type of incident you have described. Their insurance usually includes "medical payments coverage", or Medpay. Medpay is a type of insurance coverage that pays for medical bills which arise out of an injury that occurs at the school.  If you have incurred out of pocket medical bills, you should speak to the school to find out whether they have medpay coverage.  If so, you need to submit the bills to the school’s insurance company and you will be reimbursed.  You will need a copy of the incident report to obtain the medpay coverage, if it exists.

In order to determine whether you have a claim to pursue, you should speak to an accident injury attorney.  Most attorneys specializing in premises liability claims handle the claims on a contingent basis,i.e. the attorneys fee is a percentage of any money they recover for you, and offer a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss whether you have a viable case.

For more information about Florida personal injury accidents, contact Florida premises liability lawyer, Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529, visit his website at http://www.mauslawfirm.com, or email him today.

h1

Walt Disney World, Florida Slip and Fall Question – Expert Advice

February 18, 2010

The following is an expert answer given by Florida Premises Liability Lawyer, Joseph M. Maus, and taken from AllExperts.com, a free Q & A service on the internet:

Subject: Disney World, Florida Slip and Fall Question

Question: While visiting Disney World in December 09, I was in the restroom in the lobby at one of the resorts, and while exiting the restroom I slipped and fell on the wet floor (no signs were posted). I was taken to the Celebration Hospital via ambulance. I was diagnosed with a concusion and was required to stay in the hospital for two days.

What is Disney responsible for – medical bills, pain and suffering? Do I have a case?

Answer: The best advice I can give you is to speak with an experienced Florida slip and fall injury lawyer about your claim.  Believe it or not, there are attorneys in the central Florida area that specialize in accidents that occur at Walt Disney World.  And many of the claims involve slip and fall accidents.  As you could imagine, with as many people that go through WDW and its resorts on a daily basis, there are a lot of accidents that occur.

Keep in mind that WDW is not responsible for every slip and fall that occurs at one of its resort hotels.  In Florida, a hotel owner/operator owes two duties to persons lawfully on the property – maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition, and to warn persons on the property of dangerous conditions that the person may not be able to appreciate themselves.  You need to be able to prove that WDW knew, or should have known, about the wet floor.  There are different ways to go about doing that, but it is best to consult with an experienced Florida slip and fall injury attorney to discuss the facts of your claim.

If you can prove WDW is liable for the claim, Florida law allows you to recover money damages for your injury(s) and resulting damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and damages that you may lose in the future due to your injury.  You can also recover money damages for your pain and suffering, both past and future.

You should consult with an experienced Florida slip and fall lawyer that has handled claims against WDW.  It is best to find an accident injury lawyer in central Florida that can investigate your claim. You should speak to a lawyer soon.  The lawyer will advise you how best to pursue your claim.  You will also want the lawyer to put WDW on notice of the claim, preserve any evidence such as surveillance video or witness statements, and help coordinate your medical care.

For more information about your rights in a case of a Disney World, Florida slip and fall injury, contact Florida premises liability lawyer, Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529, visit his website at mauslawfirm.com or email him today.

h1

Post Office Parking Lot Slip And Fall Injury – Florida Expert Advice

February 12, 2010

The following is an expert answer given by Florida Slip And Fall Injury Lawyer, Joseph M. Maus, and taken from AllExperts.com, a free Q & A service on the internet:

Question:

I recently fell in the parking lot of a post office by stepping on a cracked area in the pavement. I fell face forward. I did not hit my head. Both of my hands (my left hand more so) were hurting and both my knees. My pinky finger on my left hand was torn and bleeding. A witness to the accident notified the manager of the post office who took down my info and the witness info. I went to the emergency room and was told to follow up with my PCP . I called my PCP for a follow up visit the next day because now I am also experiencing neck and back pain along with a burning sensation in my lower back. My PCP refused treatment stating she does not do personal injuries. I called a Medical Facility and was basically told the same thing with an exception that if I was not going to file a claim then they would see me. In the mean time, I was mailed a claims form from the post office. My questions are: (1) Why am I refused medical treatment because I fell?  (2) Should I involve an attorney? (3) What are my chances the post office would at least pay part of my medical bills?

Any information would be greatly appreciated. My main concern is getting further treatment for my injury. What do I need to do in order to get further treatment? I am being treated as an out cast.
I am in pain and no one wants to see me. I’m not sure if I asked all the questions I need to. Please give me all the information you can. I have never been in a predicament such as this. I sincerely thank you in advance for your help!!!

Answer:
I can try to provide you with some helpful information about your fall, but please consult with an attorney in your area to determine whether you have a valid claim.  Your email does not indicate where you live.  I am a Florida slip and fall injury attorney specializing in serious accidents such as car accident, trip and falls, and work accidents.  Laws vary from state to state so the law in your area may be different that in Florida.

What happened to you is a fairly common occurrence – tripping over uneven pavement.  I currently represent several people that have similar claims, either in a parking lot or on a sidewalk.  There are several laws that may apply to your claim.  Because you fell in the post office parking lot, your claim may be affected by federal claims laws, county and city municipal codes, and existing state laws on trip and fall accidents.

Keep in mind that in Florida, a person or company is not automatically responsible for your injuries and medical bills just because you tripped and fell on on their property.  A property owner in Florida owes two duties to persons legally on the property – 1. to maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition, and 2. to warn people of dangerous conditions that are not obvious or apparent.  The Post Office, or the person or entity that owns the property may be responsible to you for your injuries and medical bills if the condition that caused you to fall was one that they knew about, or existed for a long enough period of time that they should have known about it.  Uneven pavement is a condition that usually occurs over time, either due to erosion or tree roots growing nearby, so it is most likely that the Post Office knew about this dangerous condition.

One possible reason you were told by your PCP that he does not treat "personal injuries" is that he does not want to get involved in your claim. The good news is that he is a minority, and there are always plenty of quality doctors that will get involved and provide you treatment.

The best advice I can give you is to speak with an attorney specializing in trip and fall injury accidents in your area to see whether you should pursue a claim.  An experienced trip and fall lawyer is going to know the laws in your area and how best to proceed.  Most slip and fall lawyers handle cases on a contingent basis which means if the lawyer does not recover any money for your claim, there is no charge for costs or attorney’s fees.  Most Florida slip and fall injury lawyers will also offer a free, no-obligation consultation, so you have nothing to lose by meeting to discuss your claim.

An experienced accident injury lawyer will also know how to assist you in getting, and paying for, medical care.  You can use your health insurance if you have it, the insurance company for the property owner may have medicalpayments coverage which would pay for some of your bills, or the lawyer may be able to arrange for your medical care to be reimbursed out of the proceeds of any settlement you receive.

It is best to explore making a claim soon after the accident occurred.  In Florida, you have four years from the date of the accident to bring a claim.However, you don’t want to wait that long as witnesses disappear and their memories fade, employee witnesses move on to different jobs, and evidence can be lost.  Your attorney will also want to get pictures of the area where you fell before any repairs are made to it.

For more information about a Florida slip and fall injury, contact Florida premises liability lawyer, Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529, visit his website at http://www.jmmlaywers.com, or email him today.

%d bloggers like this: