Andrew Gallo, a client of leading Miami personal injury lawyer Stuart Grossman, was recently featured in local media after a group of researchers found sand re-nourishment could be partially responsible for the diving injury that left him a quadriplegic. Incidents similar to Gallo’s are becoming more common in South Florida. In fact, Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen recently secured $10.75 million for another client who was also paralyzed when he dove into the ocean in the Florida Keys.
Year after year, Florida continues to be a massive tourist destination that attracts people from around the world. In fact, the Sunshine State hit new tourism high with 127 million visitors in 2018. However, many of these visitors are unfamiliar with Florida’s waters, which can vary drastically by region and lead to severe injuries.
As the research featured in CBS 4 Miami’s article shows, sand re-nourishment, which is the replacing of old sand along Florida’s coastline, can create new sandbars that heighten the risks tourists face.
A resident of Long Island, New York, Gallo’s accident occurred while staying at the Ritz Carlton South Beach hotel during his first visit to Miami. He decided to go for a swim at the hotel’s “Ritz Beach,” a feature of the property that is heavily advertised as a chief amenity. When he dove into the ocean far from shore, he injured his head on the shallow bottom.
Gallo was unaware the depth changed due to the “sandbar effect” that some theorize could have been caused by re-nourishment. The impact caused serious spinal cord injury, leaving him a permanent quadriplegic. He now needs extensive medical care for the remainder of his life.
With the help of Grossman, Gallo sued the Ritz Carlton for negligence, as proper signage was not present to warn that diving in that location was hazardous.
“Cities and beachfront hotel operators are now well aware of the danger created by shifting sands, and they need to protect an unsuspecting public of these dangers by posting adequate warnings,” Stuart Grossman said to CBS 4 Miami. “To do otherwise is to expose all of us to harm.”