Florida is a popular tourist destination that attracts people from around the world. In fact, the state hit new tourism high with 120 million visitors in 2017. However, many of these tourists are unfamiliar with the state’s landscape—one that varies by region—which can lead to devastating swimming & diving injuries.
This year, Long Island resident Andrew Gallo sued the Ritz Carlton for personal injury damages with the help of Stuart Grossman, leading personal injury and medical malpractice lawyer.
Gallo was staying at the Ritz Carlton South Beach hotel while visiting Miami for the first time. During his stay at the hotel, he decided to go for a swim at the hotel’s “Ritz Beach,” a location heavily advertised as a chief amenity. Patrons are invited to lounge at the private beach—which is exclusive to hotel guests only—and enter the ocean at their leisure.
Unfamiliar with the water’s depth at this location, Gallo dove into the water, injuring his head on the shore’s shallow bottom. He was unaware that further out in the water, the depth changes and becomes shallower due to a sandbar-like effect. The impact caused serious spinal cord injury, leaving him a permanent quadriplegic. He now needs extensive medical care for the remainder of his life.
While this particular case is ongoing, our team has significant experience with similar swimming & diving injury cases. For example, in a recent Key West case, we represented a tourist who was permanently paralyzed after jumping into the ocean at low tide. He, too, was unfamiliar with the dangers of Florida’s waters and now needs lifelong care. You can view the details of this swimming & diving injury case and its resolution here.
These cases aren’t uncommon, which is why Stuart Grossman and Billy Mulligan of Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen have called for mandatory ordinances across businesses and establishments statewide, warning tourists of the changing condition of Florida’s waters. You can view their op-ed in the Daily Business Review here.