Nick Hogan DUI

(Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP Images)

Roughly 16 years ago, Nick Hogan, son of wrestling legend Hulk Hogan, was involved in a horrible car accident that left a man injured for life. Now, Hogan is in the news again for another incident on the road.

What did Hogan do, and what is he charged with?

A Second Hogan Driving Arrest in Florida

In the early hours of Saturday, November 18, 2023, police in Clearwater, Florida, were conducting a traffic stop when a Dodge Ram began approaching them.

The officers were on the side of Gulf to Bay Boulevard when they signaled to the driver to move into the lane away from them. But the car did not adhere to their directions. According to an arrest affidavit, officers also detected that the vehicle was going 51 mph in a 40 mph zone.

The officers went after the vehicle and pulled the driver over for a violation of the Move Over law. Move Over is a Florida law that requires drivers to move over a lane (when drivers can safely do so) and slow down when approaching stopped law enforcement and maintenance vehicles with displayed warning lights.

The stop ended with Nick Hogan and a DUI.

Related: Stopped and Arrested for a DUI in Florida? Here’s What to Do Next  

Nick Hogan Arrested for DUI

Nick Hogan, legal name Nicholas Bollea, was driving the Dodge Ram that drove past officers. Officers quickly suspected that the son of wrestling legend Hulk Hogan was under the influence.

According to WFLA reporting, officers said Hogan was, “swaying and unsteady, had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage and had bloodshot, glassy eyes.”

After officers asked Hogan to take a breathalyzer and he refused, they conducted a field sobriety test.

He failed and was charged with driving under the influence. Hogan was taken into custody and later released on a $500 bond.

This incident is not the first time that Hogan’s driving has put him in criminal trouble.

Related: What to Expect From a First Offense DUI

A History of Reckless Driving

In 2007, Hogan faced serious criminal and civil charges after he wrecked his car in Clearwater, Florida.

When he was 17-years-old, Hogan crashed his Toyota Supra into a palm tree. According to reports, Hogan was racing with his friend who was in a Dodge Viper when he lost control.

Road conditions were poor, and Hogan fishtailed and spun across the road before hitting a palm tree. Hogan sustained minor injuries. His passenger, John Graziano, was not wearing his seatbelt and sustained serious injuries that would require him to require nursing care for the rest of his life.

Hogan was charged with reckless driving involving serious bodily injury. He was also charged with being a driver under 21 operating a vehicle with a breath-alcohol content of 0.02 percent or higher, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

At that time, Bollea pled no contest to the reckless driving charge. He was sentenced to eight months in county jail and five years of probation. It does not appear that there were any alcohol-related charges related to his sentence, which means the November 2023 DUI will be considered Hogan’s first DUI.

Hogan also faced charges in civil court for the 2007 accident. Graziano’s family sued Hogan, as well as his father Hulk Hogan, in a personal injury lawsuit. Graziano was left paralyzed and will need care for the rest of his life. The civil suit reportedly ended with a $1.5 million settlement.

Related: Types of Personal Injury Cases: Do You Have a Claim? 

What Consequences Does Hogan Face?

Hogan now faces criminal charges for the recent DUI.

In Florida, there is no minimum jail time for a first-time DUI. Jail time can be up to six months for a first offense if:

  • The driver had a very high BAC
  • There was a passenger under 18
  • Property was damaged during the incident
  • Someone was injured during the incident

First offense DUIs usually involve fines. In Florida, violators can expect to pay around $500-$1,000 in fines.

Because no one was injured in the incident, Hogan will not face any potential liability for a civil lawsuit in this case.

Related: What’s the Difference Between a Civil and Criminal Case? 

A DUI Is a Serious Matter. Talk to an Attorney Right Away

A DUI can lead to serious consequences. If you or a loved one have been charged with driving under the influence, talk to an attorney right away. An experienced DUI attorney can ensure that you get fair due process under the law while fighting for your rights at every step of the way.

If you have a case to review, talk to TJ Grimaldi today.  Request your consultation or call 813-226-1023.

Hockey Player Manslaughter

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

No one expected the outcome of a hockey game in England to end with bloodshed. But that’s what happened after a player’s skate hit another player in the neck.

The player began to bleed heavily as he was taken off the ice. He later died from his injuries. Now, the player who caused the injury is being investigated for manslaughter. Will he be charged, and if so, what consequences will he face?

What Happened on the Ice?

October 28, 2023, was an ordinary day on the ice at Utilita Arena in Sheffield, England. The Sheffield Steelers were taking on the Nottingham Panthers in a Challenge Cup game.

In the second period, Adam Johnson, a 29-year-old member of the Nottingham Panthers, had the puck and was skating toward the net. Sheffield Steelers player Matt Petgrave skated quickly in Johnson’s direction. When he got closer, he collided with another Panther player, according to reporting by the Associated Press.

The collision caused Petgrave to kick his left skate into the air, where it made contact with Johnson’s neck.

Johnson hit the ground and began bleeding. He was able to stand and was helped to the side of the rink where he collapsed. He was rushed to Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital, but his injury was too severe.

Johnson died from “an incised wound to the neck caused by the skate of another player,” the coroner’s report would later indicate.

The Police Begin Their Investigation

The Nottingham Panthers called what happened on the ice that day a “freak accident.”

But South Yorkshire Police (SYP) investigated it as a crime.

Detective chief superintendent, Becs Horsfall said in a police statement, “Our investigation launched immediately following this tragedy, and we have been carrying out extensive enquiries ever since to piece together the events which led to the loss of Adam in these unprecedented circumstances.”

Their investigation led to Petgrave being arrested on suspicion of manslaughter on November 14, 2023.

Related: If You’re Arrested for a Crime, Immediately Take These 6 Steps

Arrested for Suspicion of Manslaughter

Johnson was brought in for questioning and released the same day on police bail. He was not charged.

It appears police are not ready to make a decision on whether or not to charge Johnson.

SYP police detective chief superintendent Becs Horsfall said, “We have been speaking to highly specialized experts in their field to assist in our enquiries and continue to work closely with the health and safety department at Sheffield City Council, which is supporting our ongoing investigation.”

In the United Kingdom, manslaughter is defined similarly to how it is defined in the United States. Manslaughter is charged when a person engaged in conduct that was grossly negligent or in some way unlawful and their actions resulted in the death of another person.

Unlike murder, there is no premeditation in the case of manslaughter. The responsible party did not intend to kill another person.

In Florida, manslaughter is defined under Florida Statute 782.07. For a defendant to be found guilty of manslaughter, one or more of the following things must be proven.

  • The defendant must have intentionally completed an act that led to the death of another person.
  • The defendant must have persuaded or encouraged another person to complete an act that led to that person’s death.
  • The defendant must have been culpably negligent which led to the death of another person.

Related: What to Ask During a Free Consultation with a Lawyer

What Consequence Does The Player Face?

In England, there is no mandatory or minimum sentence for manslaughter. A judge gives out the punishment based on the unique case. A judge may sentence a person convicted of manslaughter to no jail time, or they could deliver a sentence of life in prison. If Petgrave were charged and convicted, a judge would determine his fate.

In Florida, manslaughter by culpable negligence is a second-degree felony. It can result in up to 15 years in prison, 15 years of probation, and a $10,000 fine.

In the United States, a case like this could also lead to a possible wrongful death case. A wrongful death case is a civil lawsuit filed when a person has died as a result of the negligence of another person or business.

At this time, it is unclear if Petgrave will be officially charged with a crime. Police will continue their investigation to see if they have enough evidence to file criminal charges.

Related: What’s the Difference Between a Civil and Criminal Case?

See All Sides with an Attorney You Can Trust

In many situations, the lines of the law can be blurry. If you are involved in any type of legal matter — whether it be civil or criminal — make sure you have an attorney who can help you see all sides. Work with an attorney who will help you make sense of your case and fight to get you the best possible outcome.

Need legal advice? Get a free consultation with attorney TJ Grimaldi. Request your consultation or call 813-226-1023 today.

Ybor City Shooting

(AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

It was supposed to be an enjoyable night for hundreds of people in Tampa, Florida. Party-goers,  many in costumes, filled the streets of Ybor City on the Saturday before Halloween, and then gunshots rang out.

What led to a shooting that left 16 people injured and two dead? And who is responsible for the shots that littered the street?

A Night Ends with Gunshots

When the bars and nightclubs began to close on October 29, 2023, in Ybor City, a nightlife and entertainment district in Tampa, Florida, hundreds of people filled the streets. The main street, 7th Avenue, was shut down to accommodate the rush of people leaving at closing time.

It was almost 3 a.m., and groups of people, many of them dressed in Halloween costumes, gathered in the street near Tangra Nightclub and Centro Ybor.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, it was around this time when two groups began to have an altercation.

Tyrell Stephen Phillips, 22, says he waved at a friend he saw in the distance when several young men approached him in an “aggressive manner.” One person took a “fighting stance,” and a second spat at him. He said a third person reached toward his waistband. Phillips says he thought the person was reaching for a gun, so he pulled out his.

Phillips later admitted to police that he shot his gun two times.

Phillip’s shots ignited a scene of chaos, and police believe at least two other people fired guns in response to the shooting, as reported by the Tampa Bay Times.

Multiple videos on social media show the distressing scene. People fell to the ground. Some ran for cover. Sixteen people were injured — fifteen with gunshot wounds — and two were left dead.

Who Fired the Shots?

Roughly 50 police officers had been patrolling the area at the time of the shooting. Their response was quick, but they are still struggling to uncover exactly what happened.

It was immediately clear that two people were seriously injured. Harrison Boonstoppel, 20, an innocent bystander who was not involved in the altercation, was shot three times and rushed to the hospital where he would later die from his injuries.

A teenager, 14-year-old Elijah Wilson died on the scene.

At the scene, Phillips approached police and said he was one of the people who fired shots. He explained to officers that he thought he was acting in self-defense. Police found a loaded Glock 29 10mm pistol in his front waist pocket. Phillips said he fired two shots, and police later found three shell casings that matched his gun.

Phillips said Wilson was one of the people who confronted him. Police found a loaded gun on Wilson, but the weapon was still holstered and appeared to be unused.

In total, seventeen people were shot that night. Police say Phillips and at least two other people fired guns that filled the streets with bullets. Now, they are trying to determine who fired the other guns. 

Related: If You’re Arrested for a Crime, Immediately Take These 6 Steps

Searching for More Shooters

Security cam and social media footage have given police a collection of videos to review.

Police say one video confirms that Wilson is the one who spat at Phillips. While the video doesn’t show Wilson make a move to draw his gun, it does show another one of the young men with him appear to make a motion toward his waistband.

There was enough evidence to charge Phillips with second-degree murder in the death of Wilson.

Police are now trying to determine who else fired shots that night and who is responsible for the death of Boonstoppel.

The Tampa Bay Police Department has partnered with the FBI to create a website where citizens can submit tips and upload photos and videos that can help investigators identify other shooters. Police have also released a video that shows multiple individuals police would like to question about the incident.

If you have questions about a pending criminal case, schedule a call with TJ Grimaldi. Request your consultation or call 813-226-1023.

Supporting Those Impacted by Gun Violence

As the Executive Director and a Board Member of The Oulson Family Foundation, TJ Grimaldi works to support young people impacted by gun violence. The Oulson Family Foundation is a non-profit that was created to honor the life and legacy of Chad Oulson. Oulson’s life ended too soon after a senseless act of gun violence.

The Oulson Family Foundation helps children get the resources they need in the wake of being impacted by gun violence. Learn more about The Oulson Family Foundation and see how you can help support children impacted by gun violence.

Brandon Miller Wrongful Death

(AP Photo/Erik Verduzco)

NBA basketball player Brandon Miller should be having the year of his life. Miller is playing for the Charlotte Hornets after being the second overall pick in the 2023 NBA draft. In July, he signed a contract worth $49 million.

But now, Miller is facing legal challenges.

He was just named in a wrongful death lawsuit that seeks to find out what happened when he was at the scene where a 23-year-old woman was shot to death. What happened, and what does it mean for Miller’s future?

A Shooting Near Campus

On the night of January 15, 2023, Brandon Miller was out with friends near the campus of the University of Alabama, where Miller played as a star forward for the Alabama men’s basketball team.

Miller dropped off his friend, Darius Miles, at a club called Twelve25. Miller decided not to go into the club because the line was too long, and he drove away.

Miles went into the club, as did Jamea Jonae Harris and her boyfriend Cedric Johnson. While there are no reports of the individuals interacting in the club, Miles approached the couple after leaving. Along with him was his friend, Michael “Buzz” Davis.

A breakdown of the events that occurred after the individuals left the club shows Miles and Davis repeatedly interacting with Harris and Johnson even after the couple told the men to leave them alone.

At some point, Miles and Davis called Miller to pick them up. According to reports, Miles told Miller to bring his gun. Sometime after Miller arrived, Davis went to Miller’s car, retrieved the gun, and shot it at the vehicle holding Harris and Johnson. Harris fired back at Miller’s car.

Davis, Harris, and Johnson were all shot.

Harris died from her injuries.

Related: If You’re Arrested for a Crime, Immediately Take These 6 Steps

Miller’s Alleged Role in the Shooting

Both Miles and Davis were arrested and charged with capital murder. Miller was not criminally charged in the case.

But now Miller is being reintroduced in the case as Harris’s family have filed a wrongful death lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama Western Division.

Miller is named along with Miles and Davis in the court documents.

The lawsuit alleges that Miller “knew or should have known that bringing a dangerous weapon to a dispute and discharging said weapon would likely result in harm.”

Lawyers want to talk to Miller about what he witnessed and determine whether or not his actions played a role in Harris’s death.

Miller’s attorney, Jim Standridge, has said that Miller had “no knowledge of any intent to use the weapon” and that he “never touched the gun” nor was involved in its “exchange,” according to the New York Post.

The lawsuit says the case is worth looking into. “The family would like the opportunity, through their attorneys, to investigate why and how the gun was brought to the scene of a confrontation that resulted in the death of their daughter. Once we have had the opportunity to evaluate the evidence in the case, we can make decisions about the degree of culpability, if any, of each,” the lawsuit said.

So, will Miller potentially face consequences?

Related: Examples of Wrongful Death Cases Worth Fighting For

Potential Consequences of Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Wrongful death lawsuits are civil cases separate from criminal charges. Cases aim to hold parties accountable when their recklessness or carelessness led to the death of an individual.

Lawyers for Harris’s family say her injuries and death were “a direct or proximate consequence of the negligence or wantonness” of each of the three defendants.

While the role Miles and Davis played in Harris’s death is well documented. Harris’s family will need to show that Miller was also partly responsible. They will need to prove:

  • Miller was aware of an unsafe condition but failed to act.
  • Miller’s inaction directly led to the death of Harris.
  • Harris’s death caused monetary and emotional damage to the family.

If Miller is found guilty, he will face no jail time. The wrongful death is a civil case. The consequences of the case would only be financial. If found guilty, Miller may owe financial compensation to the family.

Related: How Do You Sue for Wrongful Death? 

Talk to a Trusted Wrongful Death Attorney

Losing a loved one is one of the worst things a person can go through. We understand and are here to help you through it. If you have legal questions or concerns about the situation that led to the death of a loved one, talk to a wrongful death attorney. While the law can’t bring back your loved one, it can help to bring justice to you and your family.

Talk to a trusted wrongful death attorney today. Request an appointment or call 813-226-1023 to talk to attorney TJ Grimaldi.

Why Did Ron DeSantis Send Florida State Troopers to Texas 

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

Florida Highway Troopers are on patrol — in Texas. Why did Florida Governor Ron DeSantis send Florida officials to Texas, and how does this tie into his approach to immigration?

Declaring a State of Emergency

In 2023, Ron DeSantis started the year by declaring a state of emergency related to illegal immigration.

In January 2023, the governor called in the Florida National Guard and issued an executive order that directed state agencies to help patrol the water around the Florida Keys after roughly 500 Cubans and 130 Haitians arrived on shore in the last week of 2022, as reported by the Tampa Bay Times.

Funding for the efforts came from an “Emergency Preparedness and Response Fund” that gave DeSantis $500 million to use at his discretion to deal with emergencies.

DeSantis’s $500 Million Emergency Fund

DeSantis received the emergency fund in February 2022 when Florida legislators passed a bill that gave DeSantis direct access to $500 million he could use in times of emergency. The fund removed the need for Florida state legislators to be involved with and review how the money is used.

As of July 2023, DeSantis had spent at least $15.2 million of the fund to address immigration issues.

According to reporting by the Tampa Bay Times, $4.5 million was used to support the Florida National Guard’s response to a state of emergency DeSantis declared in January 2023, and $10.7 million was used to respond to a separate state of emergency he declared back in 2021.

This spending is in addition to another $3.3 million DeSantis spent — in Texas.

Spending Millions on Immigration in Texas

Not all of the emergency funding has been spent in Florida. In June 2023, DeSantis used $3.3 million of the emergency fund to cover the cost of sending resources to the southern border in Texas.

After Texas Governor Greg Abbott requested assistance from other states to help support border security efforts in his state, Florida and nine other states responded to his call.

DeSantis announced that he would send over 1,100 assets to Texas. Resources included 101 Florida Highway Patrol Troopers, 200 Florida Department of Law Enforcement Officers, 20 Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Officers, and 800 Florida National Guard Soldiers.

Florida officials were sent to Texas and given “the same arrest and law enforcement powers, rights, and privileges while operating within the state limits of Texas as are ordinarily afforded law enforcement forces of the State of Texas,” records show.

It’s reported that the efforts will cost Florida $3.3 million. In most cases, states are reimbursed when sending emergency assistance to other states, but Abbott requested assisting states to “absorb associated costs with this mission in support of the entire country,” per reports.

The situation isn’t the first time DeSantis has spent millions on immigration in Texas. In 2021, DeSantis sent Florida law enforcement officers and equipment to the border in Texas. The cost is estimated to have been around $1.6 million.

The DeSantis administration also reportedly spent at least $615,000 in Texas in September 2022 when his administration chartered planes to take migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. The funds to pay for the transportation were taken from a $12 million state budget set aside to transport unauthorized migrants out of Florida — although the migrants were removed from Texas, not Florida.

Success or Scrutiny at the Southern Border?

There is little reported about what Florida personnel at the Southern border are doing or responsible for. The DeSantis administration says Florida’s support has helped Texas deal with the crisis at the border. Yet, Florida’s involvement in Texas has also come under some scrutiny.

Reports of mistreatment of immigrants at the border have brought questions as to the involvement of Florida’s officials.

Also in September, a video of a Florida Highway Patrol officer went viral after it was posted to TikTok. In the video, an officer in a Florida Highway Patrol vehicle is seen stopping a 36-year-old man and asking him for identification in Texas. The man informs the Florida officer that Texas law only requires individuals to show their ID to a police officer under certain conditions, which were not met during the interaction. The Florida officer eventually drove away. It is an incident that critics say highlights the confusion of having Florida officers acting in another state.

Talk to an Experienced Immigration Attorney

Immigration law in the United States is vast and complex. If you are dealing with an immigration case, talk to an experienced immigration attorney right away.

Schedule a free case review with TJ Grimaldi. Ask questions, share the details of your circumstances, and get clarity and assurance from an experienced attorney. We understand that dealing with immigration can be confusing, which is why we offer flat-fee pricing for our immigration law cases. Schedule your consultation or call 813-226-1023 now.

Google Maps Told a Man to Drive Off Collapsed Bridge

(Photo by Pavlo Gonchar / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)

A man was following the directions of the Google Maps mobile application when his car toppled off a collapsed bridge. The man didn’t survive the fall, and now, his family is suing the parties who they say should have prevented the accident from happening.

What led to this tragedy, and who will be held responsible?

A Preventable Accident

On the night of September 30, 2022, Philip Paxson, 47, was driving to his home near Hickory, North Carolina. It was raining, and Paxson was in an area he was unfamiliar with. The father of two was leaving a birthday party that he had attended with his wife and children. They left the party while Paxson stayed after to help clean up.

To direct him home, Paxson turned on Google Maps. He followed the app’s directions as it told him to turn on a road with a bridge — but the bridge was not there. Per reporting by Fox 13, the bridge leading across Snow Creek was in disrepair and uncrossable, and it didn’t have any barriers or warning signs.

As Paxton came upon the bridge, his Jeep Gladiator dropped twenty feet and flipped over into the creek. Paxson was trapped in the car and drowned.

Related: Examples of Wrongful Death Cases Worth Fighting For

A Case of Negligence

The bridge that Google Maps told Paxson to cross had collapsed nine years earlier.

Despite being a visible hazard and known to the public, the bridge had never been repaired and had not been removed from Google Maps route information.

North Carolina State Patrol says the state is not responsible. They say the road and bridge are not maintained by local or state officials.

Paxson’s family is suing the people they say are responsible.

The family filed a lawsuit for negligence in North Carolina’s Wake County Superior Court. The lawsuit names two businesses and an individual — Hinckley Gauvain LLC, Tarde LLC, and James Tarlton, who owns Tarde. The family says these entities owned, controlled, and were responsible for the collapsed bridge and the land it is on.

The family is also suing Google, which is owned by the parent company Alphabet.

Related: Personal Injury Compensation: What Can You Fight For?

Is Google Liable?

The lawsuit accuses Google of being negligent leading up to the accident.

According to the lawsuit, multiple people had contacted Google Maps, notified them about the washed-out bridge, and asked them to update the route information.

The lawsuit mentions a record of the “suggest and edit” feature used in September 2020. It includes a copy of an email notification from Google confirming that it received the report about the bridge and that the company was reviewing the suggested change, but nothing was done.

Over a year after the accident, Google Maps is still directing drivers to cross the collapsed bridge, and the bridge has not been repaired, according to The New York Times.

“For years before this tragedy, Hickory residents asked for the road to be fixed or properly barricaded before someone was hurt or killed. Their demands went unanswered,” Paxson family attorney Robert Zimmerman said in a statement to CNN.

“We’ve discovered that Google Maps misdirected motorists like Mr. Paxson onto this collapsed road for years, despite receiving complaints from the public demanding that Google fix its map and directions to mark the road as CLOSED,” he went on.

Related: 6 of the Most Commonly Asked Questions About Personal Injury 

A Wrongful Death Claim

The lawsuit against Google and the additional parties claims negligence and willful and wanton conduct by the companies. It seeks an unspecified amount in punitive damages.

For Paxson’s family to win their case, they will need to prove:

  • The accident was due to the negligence of the named parties.
  • The at-fault parties had an opportunity to make the situation safe but failed to act.
  • The accident led to physical, financial, and emotional damages.

The lawsuit seeks punitive damages, which go beyond the scope of compensation generally given in civil lawsuits. Punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages, are additional damages awarded to punish defendants for outrageous behavior and to motivate them to reform their actions to prevent similar future incidents.

Related: How to Prove Fault in Personal Injury Case

Seek Justice for Wrongful Death

You deserve to live, work, and travel in conditions that are safe. If you or a loved one were injured or harmed as the result of a company’s or person’s negligence, you are entitled to damages and justice.

Talk to a personal injury or wrongful death attorney about the situation that led to the injury, and get a plan to fight to get what is due to you. Talk to TJ Grimaldi to see how he can fight to get compensation and justice for you or your loved one. Schedule your consultation or call 813-226-1023 now.

The story depicted in the Netflix documentary, “Take Care of Maya” is now playing out live in a Florida courtroom. What led to the documentary and now, a $220 million dollar lawsuit over the care — or lack of care — for a ten-year-old girl?

A Sick Little Girl

The parents of Maya Kowalski were at a loss when their daughter started showing unusual symptoms that left her in excruciating pain and struggling to walk. Maya suffered from headaches, asthma attacks, and painful lesions that formed on her arms and legs.

The family finally found some relief when an anesthesiologist and pharmacologist in Tampa, Florida, Dr. Anthony Kirkpatrick, diagnosed Maya with complex regional pain syndrome (CPRS).

CPRS is a type of chronic pain that usually affects an arm or a leg.

Dr. Kirkpatrick specialized in CRPS and built a treatment plan for Maya that included the use of the anesthetic drug ketamine through infusions. The treatment helped Maya with her symptoms, but roughly a year into the treatment, Maya had a flare-up that led her parents to bring her to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida.

In October 2016, Maya, who was ten at the time, was admitted to the hospital. Her parents attempted to explain her diagnosis and treatment plan to doctors, but the hospital team didn’t seem to agree with their explanation.

Related: Dealing With the Media During a High-Profile Case: What to Expect

Questions of Child Abuse

When Maya’s parents, Jack and Beata Kowalski, asked for Maya to receive additional ketamine treatments, the hospital staff was skeptical. The Kowalskis asked for Maya to be discharged so they could take her to another facility, and the hospital refused. Staff contacted Sally Smith, the medical director of the county’s child protection team, and gave her access to Maya’s medical records, according to Fox 13.

Smith filed a report that questioned Maya’s mother’s mental health and whether Maya was faking or receiving unnecessary meditation.

Six days later, a judge ruled that Maya wasn’t allowed to be discharged to her family or another treatment facility. She was placed into state custody and ordered to not have contact with her mother while the case was being investigated.

The report accused Maya’s mom, a registered nurse, of Munchausen by proxy, a mental illness and a form of child abuse in which the caretaker of a child makes up fake symptoms or causes real symptoms to make it look like the child is sick.

Related: 11 Examples of Medical Malpractice Case Worth Fighting For

A Painful Separation

Maya was held at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital for three months without any in-person interaction with her mother.

The separation was painful for both Maya and her family.

The lawsuit claims Maya was “held captive.” The family’s attorney Gregory Anderson told The Daily Mail, “These events amount to an abduction, incarceration and abuse of a ten-year-old girl. Her parents were irreparably defamed and damaged.“

Anderson also says the three months spent at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital held Maya back from receiving immediate relief and will have a long-term impact on her disorder. He said they “removed all proven therapies and treated her as a psychiatric patient. As a consequence, her CRPS is now a threat to her life and will manifest over her ’30s, early ’50s with more frequent, longer duration and more severe and painful events.”

The separation also had tragic consequences for Maya’s mother.

After the separation, Maya’s mother was diagnosed with a depressive mood and adjustment disorder. After months of being separated from her daughter, Beata committed suicide.

Related: Examples of Wrongful Death Cases Worth Fighting For

An Exoneration, a Documentary, and a Trial

Shortly after Maya’s mother Beata took her own life, the order to keep Maya from her family was lifted. The Kowalskis were exonerated on January 14, 2017, after the hospital found that Maya’s condition failed to get better and determined that her mother was not causing her symptoms, according to reporting by Tampa Bay Times.

In 2017, the Kowalskis retained AndersonGlenn LLP, and they filed a lawsuit in 2018. They have been fighting to get justice ever since.

Their story was recently shared in the Netflix documentary, “Take Care of Maya” which came out in June 2023. And now, their case has finally made it to trial.

The Kowalskis previously sued Dr. Sally Smith and her employer, Suncoast Advocacy Services Kowalskis, and won $2.5 million in a settlement.

Now, the Kowalskis are seeking $220 million in damages from Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, $55 million in compensatory and $165 million in punitive damages. They say they will need medical care and therapy for the rest of their lives for Maya, her father Jack, and her brother Kyle.

Family members, doctors, and nurses will testify as a jury determines whether or not Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital is at fault for keeping Maya away from her family.

Related: How Do You Sue for Wrongful Death? 

Protect Your Family & Fight For Justice

If you or a member of your family was mistreated by medical staff in a way that led to physical, emotional, or financial damages, you deserve justice. A personal injury attorney or a wrongful death attorney can guide your family on a path to recovery. If you have a case to review, get a free consultation with TJ Grimaldi. Request your consultation or call 813-226-1023.

Escaped Murder

(Pennsylvania State Police via AP)

For 14 days, the country — and particularly those living in southeastern Pennsylvania — waited to see if and when police would capture escaped murderer Danelo Souza Cavalcante.

The community was relieved when police finally apprehended Cavalcante in the early hours of September 13. Now that the chase is over, what additional criminal charges does Cavalcante face as he returns to prison?

The Crime & The Escape

Before Danelo Souza Cavalcante made national news, he had been an inmate at the Chester County Prison located in southeastern Pennsylvania for only a couple of weeks.

On August 16, Cavalcante was found guilty of first-degree murder for violently killing his ex-girlfriend, Deborah Brandão. Cavalcante is said to have killed Brandão in April 2021 because she knew he was wanted in his native Brazil in a 2017 homicide case. According to CNN, when Brandão learned of the case, she threatened to expose Cavalcante to police, so Cavalcante murdered her.

Cavalcante stabbed Brandão 38 times in front of her two young children. In Pennsylvania, the crime carries a mandatory life sentence without parole.

But just two weeks after his conviction for killing Brandão, Cavalcante was out of prison.

Cavalcante broke out of the Chester County Prison on August 31. Surveillance video shows him crab-walking between two walls to scale to another floor of the building. The walls were topped with razor wire, but that didn’t prevent Cavalcante from jumping from the roof to the ground below.

Cavalcante escaped into woods in the area of southeastern Pennsylvania, and the chase began.

Related: Dealing With the Media During a High-Profile Case: What to Expect

The Chase & The Capture

For two weeks, police tracked Cavalcante as he made his way around southeastern Pennsylvania.

During the first week of his escape, Cavalcante was sighted multiple times by residents in the area, but police were unable to apprehend him. On September 9, Cavalcante was able to escape the police search perimeter, change his clothes, and steal a van, as reported by AP News.

Just one day later, Cavalcante ditched the van, and the next day, he walked into an open garage, where he stole a .22-caliber rifle and ammunition. The homeowner confronted Cavalcante and shot at him several times, but Cavalcante again escaped capture.

It wasn’t until two days later when police finally caught Cavalcante.

Early in the morning of September 13, a thermal imaging camera picked up Cavalcante’s heat signal. Police moved into the area, and a search dog was able to locate and subdue Cavalcante. He was taken into custody around 8 a.m.

Related: If You’re Arrested for a Crime, Immediately Take These 6 Steps

The New Charges

Cavalcante now faces new charges in Pennsylvania. Upon his capture, he was charged with one count of felony escape in the third degree.

In Pennsylvania, the additional charge carries a maximum penalty of up to seven years in prison and a maximum fine of $15,000.

In Florida, the crime of escaping prison is a second-degree felony. It is defined in Florida Statute 944.40, which says “any prisoner confined in, or released on furlough from, any prison, jail, private correctional facility, road camp, or other penal institution, whether operated by the state, a county, or a municipality, or operated under a contract with the state, a county, or a municipality, working upon the public roads, or being transported to or from a place of confinement who escapes or attempts to escape from such confinement commits a felony of the second degree.”

The consequences for the crime in Florida are up to fifteen years in prison or fifteen years of probation and a $10,000 fine.

It is likely that Cavalcante will also face additional charges related to vehicle and gun theft. He will have a hearing on September 27.

Any additional jail time Cavalcante receives won’t have much consequence as he is already sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Related: What Does It Take to Be an Attorney for a High-Profile Case? 

Review Your Case with a Trusted Attorney

Whether you are facing serious felony charges or a minor misdemeanor, talking to a trusted attorney should be your first step in the process. An experienced criminal defense attorney can guide you through the complex legal process, ensure that your rights are protected, and help you get the best possible outcome for your situation.

Don’t delay if you are facing criminal charges. Review your case today. Contact TJ Grimaldi for a free case review. Request your consultation or call 813-226-1023.

Selmon Expressway in Tampa

[Image via Google Images]

A tragic accident is ending with criminal charges. Find out why a mother who failed to properly restrain her child in a car seat is now facing manslaughter charges months after a tragic crash.

A Terrible Accident

On the night of March 5, 2023, 21-year-old Nevaeh Goldsborough was driving her Hyundai Sonata on the Selmon Expressway in Tampa, Florida. In the car with her were three small children, including her 11-month-old son, and a 27-year-old man.

Under Florida law, each child in the car should have been properly restrained in the vehicle. Any child under the age of five is required to be seated in a crash-tested, federally-approved child restraint.

Around 11:35 p.m., Goldsborough is said to have been driving recklessly. As her vehicle approached the 50th Street exit on the Selmon Expressway, the car was going 26 mph over the speed limit. Goldsborough’s car then crashed into a guardrail before going into another lane of traffic where it collided with a Hyundai Sonata.

Goldsborough and all three children were thrown from the vehicle.

An investigation would later find that none of the children were properly restrained in the vehicle, as reported by the Tampa Bay Times.

Related: Injured in a Car Accident? Here’s What You Need to Do Right Away.

The Tragic Consequences

Goldsborough’s adult passenger, the 2-year-old boy in her car, and the two adult passengers in the Hyundai Sonata sustained minor injuries.

Goldsborough was seriously injured along with the two other children in her vehicle. The 4-year-old girl in the car recovered, but the 11-month-old died from his injuries.

Now, months after the accident, Goldsborough is facing criminal charges for the improper restraint of the children in her vehicle.

On September 4, 2023, Goldsborough was charged with one count of aggravated manslaughter of a child and two counts of child neglect. She was booked into the Hillsborough County jail and released two days later on $17,000 bail.

Related: If You’re Arrested for a Crime, Immediately Take These 6 Steps

Three Serious Criminal Charges

If Goldsborough had been pulled over before the accident, she would have faced consequences for failing to restrain the children in proper car seats. The fine for a child restraint violation is $60 and three points on a license.

But Goldsborough is now facing much more serious charges.

Because two children were injured in the accident, Goldsborough is facing two counts of child neglect.

Child neglect is defined under Florida Statute 827.03 and refers to a caregiver’s failure to provide a child with the care, supervision, and services necessary to maintain the child’s physical and mental health. When child neglect leads to serious bodily harm, the charges can be punishable by up to 15 years in prison or 15 years probation and a $10,000 fine.

Goldsborough also faces another serious charge.

Because a child died in the accident, Goldsborough is facing one count of aggravated manslaughter.

Manslaughter is defined under Florida Statute 782.07 and refers to causing the death of another person by culpable negligence. Manslaughter differs from murder because in a murder charge, there is intent to kill another person. In a manslaughter charge, there is no premeditation to kill another person.

Florida Statute 782.07 (3) specifically refers to a person who causes the death of any person under the age of 18. It is considered aggravated manslaughter of a child and is a first-degree felony. The charge is punishable by up to life in prison, life on probation, and a $10,000 fine. The minimum punishment for the charge is 13 years in prison.

Goldsborough faces serious legal consequences for the failure to restrain the children in her vehicle.

Related: Parents Charged with Manslaughter After Their Toddler Left in Car Dies   

Talk to an Experienced Attorney

The law has many different lawyers. Breaking the law can have varying consequences depending on multiple factors. If you are facing any type of legal charge, make sure you fully understand all angles of your case. Talk to an experienced attorney who can help you see all sides of the situation.

If you are involved in a civil or criminal case, have a trusted attorney by your side. Review your case, and see how TJ Grimaldi can guide you through a pending legal matter. Schedule your free consultation or call 813-226-1023 now.

Lizzo and Dancers

(Helle Arensbak/Ritzau Scanpix via AP)

Singer and entertainer Lizzo is frequently covered in new stories discussing body shaming and female empowerment. But in the last few months, Lizzo has been on the opposite side of the conversation.

Instead of being highlighted as a public figure promoting body positivity and empowerment, Lizzo has been accused of harassment and body shaming.

What are the accusations, and what does it mean for Lizzo?

A Surprising Lawsuit

Lizzo is widely known as a singer and an advocate for positivity, self-love, and beauty diversity, so many fans were surprised when a lawsuit against her was filed on August 1, 2023.

The lawsuit, filed by three former dancers, accuses Lizzo of behaviors and actions that go against the foundation of her public image.

The lawsuit names Lizzo, legal name Melissa Viviane Jefferson; the captain of Lizzo’s dance team who also worked on Lizzo’s reality television show, Shirlene Quigley; and Lizzo’s production company, Big Grrrl Big Touring, according to reporting by NBC News.

The lawsuit accuses the defendants of:

  • Sexual harassment
  • Creating a hostile work environment
  • Religious and racial harassment
  • False imprisonment
  • Interference with prospective economic advantage

Related: Dealing With the Media During a High-Profile Case: What to Expect

Who Filed the Lawsuit?

The lawsuit was filed by three former dancers. Two of the plaintiffs, Crystal Williams and Arianna Davis, were contestants on Lizzo’s television show “Watch Out for the Big Grrrls.” Both dancers were fired between April and May of this year.

The third plaintiff, Noelle Rodriguez, was hired by Lizzo after performing in the music video for the song “Rumors.” Rodriguez has since resigned from the dance group.

The three women filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court in which they are suing for general and special damages, as well as punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.

The lawsuit names three defendants, although each defendant is not accused of the same actions. The accusations against Lizzo and Jefferson vary, and the lawsuit does not claim that Lizzo knew about Jefferson’s actions outlined in the lawsuit.

Related: What You Should Expect from Your Attorney in Every Case

What Are Lizzo and Her Dance Captain Accused Of?

The lawsuit includes various accusations against Lizzo, Jefferson, and the production company.

  • Lizzo is accused of telling Davis to touch a naked dancer at a nude bar in Amsterdam and to have started a chant trying to convince Davis to touch the performer.
  • Lizzo and Jefferson are accused of holding a grueling 12-hour rehearsal after hearing accusations that dancers were drinking on the job. They told the dancers the rehearsal would determine if they could keep their job or not. Davis was so afraid to leave the stage that she soiled her pants.
  • Jefferson is accused of forcing her Christian religion on the dancers and degrading individuals who had premarital sex, while also “sharing lewd sexual fantasies, simulating oral sex and publicly discussing the virginity of one of the plaintiffs.”
  • After a disagreement with Rodriguez, Lizzo is accused of looking at her, “cracking her knuckles, balling her fists,” and using an expletive to tell Rodriguez she was “lucky” after Rodriguez chose to resign from the group.
  • Lizzo’s production company is accused of false imprisonment, referring to an incident when a member of the company’s security team is said to have refused to allow Davis to leave the room after a meeting. The security team held Davis in the room and insisted on searching her phone to look for videos taken during rehearsals, according to reporting by NBC News.
  • Lizzo and Jefferson are accused of calling out Davis’ weight gain, but the lawsuit does not include any depictions or incidents where she was explicitly body-shamed.

Related: What’s the Difference Between a Civil and Criminal Case? 

What Happens Next?

While it appears that no new filings have been made in the case in recent weeks, there is speculation of upcoming updates.

According to Page Six, attorneys representing the lawsuit say six other dancers have come forward with stories similar to what is included in the lawsuit, although it does not appear that any additional plaintiffs have been added to the case or that any new cases have been filed against Lizzo.

Lizzo responded to the lawsuit by calling the claims false and outrageous. Her team said they may file a countersuit in the case, but at this time, it appears that no legal countersuit has been filed.

Protect Your Rights

Everyone has the right to work in conditions that are safe and free from harassment and malicious behavior. If you feel you have been put in an unsafe condition at work or have been involved in a workplace accident, talk to an attorney right away.

Protect yourself. Protect your rights. Share your story with an attorney. Get a free case review with TJ Grimaldi today. Request your consultation or call 813-226-1023 today.