Family Sues Panera Bread

(Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)

A college student didn’t think much about it when she ordered a lemonade from Panera Bread, but less than 24 hours later, she was dead. Her family says the drink, and Panera’s failure to properly label it, caused their daughter’s death.

Now they are suing the company for wrongful death. Can the family prove a lemonade killed their daughter?

An Ordinary Day Leads to a Tragic Death

September 10, 2022, was a fairly normal day for 21-year-old college student Sarah Katz. Katz was a student at the University of Pennsylvania and had recently purchased an Unlimited Sip Club membership from Panera Bread, which allows customers to pay a monthly fee for unlimited drinks.

Katz went to Panera to fill up a drink and chose a “Charged Lemonade.”

A few hours later, Katz collapsed while out at a restaurant with friends. Katz was rushed to the hospital where she went into cardiac arrest and died, according to NBC News.

The college student’s cause of death was determined to be cardiac arrhythmia due to long QT syndrome.

A Lifelong Avoidance of Energy Drinks

Katz and her family knew her heart didn’t function like other people’s hearts. At the age of five, Katz was diagnosed with the heart condition Long QT Type 1 Syndrome. “Long QT Syndrome (LQTS) is a rare disorder of the heart’s electrical system that can lead to dangerous heart rhythms, fainting, and sudden cardiac arrest,” says Stanford Medicine.

Katz took daily medication and made lifestyle choices to manage her disorder. She was aware that consuming drinks with high caffeine-levels was not good for her condition, and she avoided energy drinks. Katz’s family said she would not have ordered a Charged Lemonade if she knew it was an energy drink.

A wrongful death lawsuit filed by her family says Katz would have assumed caffeine was in the drink, but that she would have been unable to discern how much caffeine was actually in the drink. The suit says she would have been “reasonably confident it was a traditional lemonade and/or electrolyte sports drink containing a reasonable amount of caffeine safe for her to drink.”

The lawsuit says the caffeine level in Panera’s Charged Lemonade is actually more than a 12 oz. Red Bull and a 16 oz. Monster Energy Drink combined and that combination of caffeine is what killed their daughter.

Related:Examples of Wrongful Death Cases Worth Fighting For

Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Panera

The failure to properly label the lemonade as an energy drink is at the heart of the wrongful death lawsuit the family filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

The lawsuit alleges that Panera, “did not market, advertise, and sell Panera Charged Lemonade in the store as an ‘energy drink,’ which is a drink containing large amounts of caffeine, added sugar, other additives, and stimulants, such as guarana and/or taurine and/or L-carnitine (‘stimulants’).”

The Panera website described the drink as “the ultimate energy drink guaranteed to charge up your day” although the in-store signage was less clear.

Katz’s family says their daughter could not have known about the high levels of caffeine in the drink, according to Fox News 13. They are seeking “compensatory damages, punitive damages, interest, costs of suit, and such other relief as this Honorable Court may deem appropriate and just.”

Related: How Do You Sue for Wrongful Death? 

What Does It Take to Win a Wrongful Death Case?

To prove fault in the wrongful death case, Katz’s family will need to show that Panera was aware of an unsafe condition but failed to act and that their inaction directly led to Katz’s death.

The lawsuit alleges that Panera knew the drink “could injure children, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and people sensitive to caffeine – including those with underlying heart problems – by causing catastrophic injuries and/or death” but failed to properly warn customers.

Since Katz’s death, Panera has changed some of the labeling on the drink. According to USA Today, Panera has added language to their website that says, “Use in moderation. NOT RECOMMENDED FOR children, people sensitive to caffeine, pregnant or nursing women.” It is unclear if the signage around the drink in stores has changed.

Related: A Mac and Cheese Lawsuit and 400+ Other Food Lawsuits Filed by a NY Attorney

Get Justice for Yourself or a Loved One

Companies have a reasonable responsibility to inform customers about the potential dangers of their products and services. If you or a loved one have been injured due to the failure of a company to properly warn consumers, talk to a wrongful death attorney or personal injury attorney right away.

An experienced attorney can help you get justice for you or your loved one and hold the responsible parties accountable. If you have a case to discuss, request a free consultation with TJ Grimaldi. Call 813-226-1023 or contact our office today.

Hit and Run Bill Florida

David Chang’s vehicle after hitting Lilly Glaubach via The Florida Highway Patrol

Lawmakers and the family of a 13-year-old girl who was killed by a hit-and-run in 2022 are trying to find some justice and peace by passing a new Florida law. What led up to the creation of the law, and how does it plan to find and punish more hit-and-run criminals?

A Tragic Accident

On August 16, 2022, 13-year-old Lilly Glaubach was riding her bike home from Pineview School in Osprey, Florida. Around 4:15 p.m., Glaubach passed through a crosswalk when she was struck by an oncoming vehicle.

David Chang, 65 years old at the time, was reportedly speeding as he went through the crosswalk, and his four-door sedan hit Glaubach. According to court documents, Glaubach was “forced up onto the hood and windshield of the vehicle before she came off the vehicle approximately 75 feet west of the area of the collision.”

Glaubach was badly injured, but Chang did not stop. Instead, he drove away.

An Attempt to Escape the Consequences

Chang drove away from the scene of the accident without stopping.

The next day, he took his vehicle to an auto repair shop one hour from where the accident took place, which is also one hour from where he lived. Chang told the auto-repair shop a tree branch fell through the windshield of his car, per reporting by The Bradenton Times.

Chang’s lie didn’t last long.

An individual reported the car as a suspicious vehicle and sent photos to law enforcement. It was discovered that the details and license plate information matched the information from the accident. Plus, the vehicle had serious windshield and front-end damage.

Related: 5 Reasons to Contact a Car Accident Lawyer After a Crash 

The Driver Faces Consequences

Chang was arrested on charges for leaving the scene of the crash involving a serious injury, leaving the scene with property damage, and evidence destruction.

The charges would be elevated more than a week later when Glaubach tragically died from her injuries 12 days after the accident. Chang would then be arrested for felony charges of leaving the scene without rendering aid involving death.

In this hit-and-run case, the driver was found, and justice was served.

In September 2023, Chang entered an open plea for one count of leaving the scene of a crash involving death and one count of tampering with evidence, per Tampa Bay 10. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison to be followed by three years probation.

Now, lawmakers and Glaubach’s family want to make sure more hit-and-run criminals are caught and face consequences for their actions.

New Florida Bill Aims to Catch Hit-and-Run Criminals

Over the past five years in Florida, there have been 515,957 hit-and-run crashes that resulted in 1,251 fatalities, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Bill SB 194 — referred to as the “Lilly Glaubach Act” — filed by Sen. Joe Gruters aims to find and punish more hit-and-run criminals.

The bill would require auto repair shops to verify the cause of vehicle damage or report it to law force agencies. If the bill passes, when a vehicle that appears to have been in an accident is brought to an auto repair shop, the shop will need to request a written crash report or fill out a form detailing the damage before giving an estimate to the driver.

All forms would be sent to law enforcement agencies so they can review the situation and connect damages to pending hit-and-run cases. The goal of the bill is to find more hit-and-run criminals who cause accidents and leave the scene.

The bill has been filed for the 2024 legislative session.

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

Get Justice After a Car Accident

Bill SB 194 aims to seek justice for individuals injured by the carelessness of drivers. Its goal is to make it easier to bring criminal charges against drivers who flee the scene after being involved in a vehicular crash that causes damage.

Victims of car accidents that are the result of the carelessness of another person or entity may be entitled to justice in both criminal and civil courts.

If you or a loved one were injured in a vehicular accident caused by the recklessness of a driver, you deserve justice. Talk to a personal injury or wrongful death attorney right away. See how you can find some peace by holding at-fault parties accountable for their actions. Talk to personal injury attorney TJ Grimaldi today. Request an appointment or call 813-226-1023.

In 2020, Henry Ruggs III was looking ahead to a dazzling career in the NFL. Drafted by the Las Vegas Raider, Ruggs had a multimillion-dollar contract in hand. But it all disappeared one night in 2021 when Ruggs got behind the wheel while drunk and killed a woman and her dog.

Ruggs now faces consequences for his actions.

A Bad Decision Leads to a Loss of Life

Henry Ruggs III was selected as the 12th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft by the Las Vegas Raiders. With a contract worth $16.67 million and a successful first year as a wide receiver, Ruggs was looking toward a bright future. Then, everything changed when Ruggs got behind the wheel of his Chevrolet Corvette on November 2, 2021.

Ruggs had spent several hours drinking with friends at a sports entertainment site and golfing venue before he and his girlfriend attempted to drive home.

According to airbag computer records in Ruggs’ vehicle, his car reached a speed of 156 mph before slowing to 127 mph and crashing into a Toyota Rav 4.

The impact caused the Rav 4 to burst into flames, killing the woman, Tina Tintor, and her dog inside. Ruggs and his girlfriend, Je’nai Kilgo-Washington, were also injured with non-life-threatening injuries and taken to a nearby hospital.

At the hospital, Ruggs’ blood alcohol level was taken. It was .161, more than double the legal limit.

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

Ruggs Faced More Than 40 Years in Prison

Ruggs was charged with a total of five crimes.

He faced two felonies related to the death of Tintor: DUI resulting in death and reckless driving resulting in death. He also faced two charges related to the injuries sustained by his girlfriend who was in the car with him. The charges were also felonies: DUI resulting in substantial bodily harm and reckless driving resulting in substantial bodily harm.

Ruggs also faced a misdemeanor charge. He had a loaded firearm in the vehicle which led him to be charged with unlawful gun possession.

Under Nevada law, the potential consequences for the charges left Ruggs facing more than 40 years in prison. Now almost two years after the accident, Ruggs is about to start his jail time, which is much less than 40 years.

Related: What to Expect From a First Offense DUI

A Plea Deal Cuts Ruggs’ Jail Time

Ruggs and the prosecutors came to a plea deal that prevented the case from going to trial. Reportedly, both sides had something to gain from the deal.

Prosecutors were worried that they may not be able to use Ruggs’ blood drawings that showed his intoxication levels at trial. Defense attorneys argued that Ruggs’ blood-alcohol test was improperly obtained at the hospital, which meant courts could have suppressed the results of the blood test. Since no field sobriety test was conducted, there would be no additional evidence that Ruggs was intoxicated at the time of the crash.

The defense team sought a plea deal because it could guarantee a lighter sentence for Ruggs. Rather than face up to forty years in prison, Ruggs will now face three to ten years.

Ruggs pleaded guilty to a felony charge of driving under the influence of alcohol causing death and to a misdemeanor charge for vehicular manslaughter, according to the Associated Press.

Other charges in the case were dropped as part of the plea deal, including the charges related to the injuries sustained by his girlfriend and to the misdemeanor gun charge.

Related: What To Do About a DUI License Suspension in Florida

How Much Time Will Ruggs Actually Serve?

Ruggs was sentenced to a minimum of three years in prison.

After the accident, Ruggs posted a $150,000 bail for his release and has been on house arrest pending the results of the case. He spent a year and a half on house arrest and cannot convert the time spent on house arrest to time served, per the Associated Press.

After three years, Ruggs will be eligible for parole.

Related: How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record?

Talk to an Experienced DUI Attorney

Driving under the influence is a serious crime, and the repercussions of a DUI accident can change lives forever. If you have been charged with a DUI, whether it involves someone being injured or not, talk to a DUI attorney right away.

Get an expert attorney by your side who can guide you through the lengthy legal process and protect your rights. If you have been charged with a DUI, request your free consultation with TJ Grimaldi today. Request your consultation or call 813-226-1023 today.

Officer Found Guilty

Screenshot from Video by Fort Lupton Police

A traffic stop turned into something unexpected when a freight train went speeding by — and hit a patrol car with a suspect inside.

Now, police officers are facing consequences for their actions.

What Happened on the Tracks?

On September 16, 2022, multiple police departments responded to a report of a road rage incident that involved the use of a firearm in Fort Lupton, an area north of Platteville, Colorado.

According to the Denver Gazette, the suspect was 20-year-old Yareni Rios-Gonzalez. Police pulled over Rios-Gonzalez near a set of railroad tracks where freight trains run about a dozen times per day. Officer Jordan Steinke handcuffed Rios-Gonzalez and put her in the back of a squad car belonging to Pablo Vazquez while the officers searched her vehicle.

A few minutes after being placed in the squad car, Rios-Gonzalez began screaming. The front passenger-side door of the police car was open. Rios-Gonzalez leaned toward the door, but she could not reach it because she was behind bars in the backseat, according to Associated Press reporting.

Seconds later, a freight train crashed into the car with Rios-Gonzalez still in the backseat. Body and dash cam footage captured the scene.

Rios-Gonzalez survived the accident, but she sustained serious injuries including broken bones and a traumatic brain injury.

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

Who Was at Fault?

The officer who placed Rios-Gonzalez in the squad car said she didn’t realize the vehicle was on the tracks because she didn’t park the vehicle. Officer Steinke says she was worried about the threat that could come from Rios-Gonzalez and was not looking at the ground.

Attorneys for Rios-Gonzalez and state prosecutors see it another way.

Both Officer Steinke and Officer Pablo Vazquez, the officer who parked the squad car on the tracks, were criminally charged in the case. Rios-Gonzalez also filed a civil lawsuit against the officers and police departments involved in the incident.

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

What Are the Criminal Charges?

Steinke, who put Rios-Gonzalez into the squad car, was charged with felony criminal attempt to commit manslaughter as well as reckless endangerment and third-degree assault, both misdemeanors.

Vazquez was charged with misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment and traffic offenses.

Vazquez’s case has not been heard in court, while Steinke’s case has already reached a verdict.

Officer Who Put Woman in Squad Car Found Guilty

Steinke was found guilty of the two misdemeanor charges of reckless endangerment and assault. She was acquitted of the felony charge, criminal attempt to commit manslaughter. There was no jury in Steinke’s trial. Judge Timothy Kerns listened to the evidence and issued the verdict.

Kerns said the evidence showed that Steinke “didn’t knowingly intend to harm.” The judge also said, “There’s no reasonable doubt that placing a handcuffed person in the back of a patrol car, parked on railroad tracks, creates a substantial and unjustifiable risk of harm by the train.”

Steinke is scheduled to be sentenced in September.

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

What Are the Civil Charges?

In addition to the criminal charges against the officers, a civil case is also underway as it relates to the accident.

Rios-Gonzalez is suing both the Fort Lupton and Platteville police departments and three officers involved in the incident: Steinke, Vazquez, and a third officer who failed to help Rios-Gonzalez as the train approached. Steinke was working for the Fort Lupton police department, and Vazquez was working for the Platteville police department at the time of the crash.

For Rios-Gonzalez to win her personal injury case, she must prove:

  • The accident was caused by negligence. She must show that the officers and police department could have prevented an unsafe condition but did not act.
  • The accident directly led to injury. Rios-Gonzalez will present her injuries which included nine broken ribs, a broken arm, a broken leg, a fractured sternum, and traumatic head injury from the accident.
  • The accident caused damages. Rios-Gonzalez’s attorney will need to show how the physical injuries led to financial and emotional damages.

Both the civil case and criminal case against Vazquez are upcoming, and we will have to wait for results in these cases.

Related: How to Prove Fault in Personal Injury Case

Protect Your Rights After an Accident

Every person has the right to be safe and secure. If another party’s negligence leads to injury to you or a loved one, you deserve to be made whole. Talk to a personal injury attorney if you have experienced a loss due to the carelessness of another party.

All consultations with TJ Grimaldi are free, so contact our office to discuss your case and see how we can help you collect what is due to you. Schedule your consultation or call 813-226-1023 today.

Two years ago, Travis Rudolph went from being a lead receiver at Florida State University to being charged with murder. His case finally came to an end on June 8, 2023 when Rudolph was found not guilty on all charges.

What led to the charges against Rudolph and how did the jury come to a not guilty verdict?

What Led to Charges Against Rudolph?

Travis Rudolph’s life changed on April 6, 2021. That night, Rudolph and his girlfriend got into an argument at Rudolph’s Florida home. Reports by the Tampa Bay Times indicate that both parties said the fight got physical before Rudolph’s girlfriend left the scene.

Shortly after she left, Rudolph’s girlfriend reportedly began contacting people about what happened. She told Rudolph’s sister that she was going to send someone to kill Rudolph and texted another friend to “shoot his s–t up.”

Around midnight, Rudolph’s four men showed up to Rudolph’s house, one who Rudolph said he believed was in a gang. Each party has different versions of what happened next. Rudolph claimed that one of the men pointed a firearm at him, at which time, Rudolph says he went inside to get his gun.

Investigators say Rudolph shot 39 rounds at the men as they attempted to flee in a black Cadillac. He shot two men, injuring one and killing another.

Rudolph was arrested and charged with one charge of first-degree murder with a firearm and three charges of attempted first-degree murder with a firearm.

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

Making a Case for “Stand Your Ground”

This blog covered the story in September 2021 as Rudolph began to make the case that the shooting was in self-defense.

Rudolph’s attorney, Marc Shiner, invoked “stand your ground” laws as Rudolph’s legal defense.

In Florida, stand your ground laws come from Florida Statute Sections 776.012 and 776.013. The laws indicate that someone can use deadly force to protect themself if they feel their life is at stake and that individuals do not have to retreat before using deadly force.

Statute 776.012 says, “A person is justified in using or threatening to use deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that using or threatening to use such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony.”

Rudolph’s team petitioned Circuit Judge Jeffrey Gillen to dismiss the case on the basis of stand your ground laws. The request was denied, and the judge ordered the case to go to trial, per reporting by the Palm Beach Post.

Related: The Best Criminal Defense Attorneys Have These 7 Qualities

Jury Finds Rudolph Not Guilty

As Rudolph’s case made its way through the court system, he spent one year behind bars in Palm Beach County and another year under house arrest, according to court reports reviewed by CNN.

Rudolph’s case was finally heard in front of a jury starting on May 31, 2023. The trial lasted eight days and included testimony from Rudolph and his mother, who was in the house at the time of the altercation and subsequent shooting.

Rudolph insisted that he feared for his life when he opened fire. “I’m not guilty,” he said. “Because I was saving my and my brother’s life.”

Video evidence that captured some of the scene in front of Rudoph’s door was also shown to the jury. Prosecutors said the video didn’t show the level of danger described by Rudolph.

In the end, the jury made their decision.

They believed Rudolph’s case of self-defense and found him not guilty of one count of first-degree premeditated murder and three counts of attempted first-degree murder.

Related: 6 Signs You Need a New Attorney

Don’t Approach a Criminal Defense on Your Own

Facing criminal charges is a serious matter. If you have been charged with a crime, make sure you talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.

Explore your options, develop the best defense, and ensure that your rights are protected through each step of the legal process. If you have questions about an upcoming case, talk to TJ Grimaldi today. All consultations are free. Contact our team today. Schedule or call 813-226-1023 now.

It’s another unprecedented moment. A former President of the United States has been indicted on federal criminal charges.

What led to the 37 federal criminal charges against Donald J. Trump? What charges does he face, and what potential consequences lay ahead of him?

What Led to The Charges?

The core of the case against Donald J. Trump is tied to The Presidential Records Act, which requires all records created by a sitting president to be turned over to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) at the end of their administration. Two years of events triggered by the NARA led to Trump’s June 2023 indictment. Here is a breakdown of the timeline that led to the charges.

May 2021: The NARA realizes that several important documents weren’t handed over before Trump left the White House. The organization reaches out to Trump’s team to collect the documents.

January 2021: The NARA receives 15 boxes of documents. Inside, they find more than 100 classified documents.

February 2021: The NARA informs the Justice Department of the situation and asks the department to look into Trump’s handling of White House records and whether he violated the Presidential Records Act and other laws related to classified information.

April 2021: The Justice Department reaches out to Trump’s lawyers to request access to the remaining documents as they believe more sensitive information is included in the documents. Trump’s team asks for more time to review the documents before the FBI receives access.

May 2022: The Justice Department sends a subpoena to Trump requesting that all documents with classification markings be returned.

June 2022: Federal investigators visit Mar-a-Lago. Trump’s attorney hands over 38 classified documents and signs an affidavit saying there are no more classified documents on the property.

August 2022: The FBI executes a court-issued search warrant and searches Mar-a-Lago. Federal agents find more than 100 additional classified documents.

November 2022: Attorney General Merrick Garland appoints Jack Smith as a special counsel to investigate the situation.

June 2023: After months of investigation and conducting interviews, the special counsel presents evidence in front of a grand jury in southern Florida. The grand jury votes to indict Trump, charging him with 37 federal felony charges.

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

What Are the Charges?

Trump has been charged with 37 federal felony counts. Each count relates to Trump’s behavior while dealing with the NARA and FBI as they attempted to locate and collect documents from Trump’s presidency.

  • Counts 1-31: Willful retention of national defense information. Trump is accused of storing 31 sensitive national defense documents at Mar-a-Lago. Each count represents a document.
  • Count 32: Conspiracy to obstruct justice. Trump is accused of conspiring to keep documents from the grand jury investigating the case.
  • Count 33: Withholding a document or a record. Trump is accused of moving boxes so documents would not be introduced to the grand jury.
  • Count 34: Corruptly concealing a document or record. Trump is accused of attempting to hide boxes of documents from attorneys.
  • Count 35: Concealing a document in a federal investigation. Trump is accused of hiding documents that led to a false certification being issued to the FBI.
  • Count 36: Scheme to conceal. Trump is accused of hiding the possession of documents from the FBI and grand jury.
  • Count 37: False statements and representations. Trump is accused of leading his attorney to make false statements to the FBI and grand jury.

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

Who Else Is Involved?

Walt Nauta, a former presidential aide to Trump and current Trump employee, is also listed as a defendant on the federal charges.

Naulta faces six charges. He is included in charges with Trump and also is charged with an individual charge of making false statements and representations. The count accuses Nauta of giving false answers during a voluntary interview with the FBI in late May.

What Are the Potential Consequences?

According to The Washington Post, Trump faces a maximum of hundreds of years in prison.

The maximum punishment for retention of national defense information is ten years in prison for each charge. Trump faces 31 charges for this crime.

Trump also faces charges associated with conspiracy to obstruct justice, tampering with grand jury evidence, and concealing evidence in a federal investigation which carry punishments of up to 20 years. He also faces false statement charges that carry up to five years in prison.

It’s unlikely that Trump would be sentenced to hundreds of years in prison even if he is convicted on all charges.

Federal defendants rarely receive the maximum possible punishment, and sentencing can vary widely as there are no mandatory minimum sentences. Trump will have an option to settle his case, or it will be brought to a jury trial in the upcoming months.

Related: Breaking Down The Case and Verdict in Donald Trump’s Sex Abuse Case

Get Legal Advice You Can Trust

Whether you are one of the most high-profile figures in the world or not, you need expert advice when dealing with legal matters big or small. If you are facing criminal charges or have a civil case ahead of you, talk to an experienced attorney right away.

For advice on cases from criminal defense to family law and personal injury, request your free consultation with TJ Grimaldi. Let’s discuss your case. Contact our office or call 813-226-1023 today.

Self Defense

[ Photo provided / Tampa Police Department ]

Three days after a jury found Tampa rapper Billy Bennett Adams III not guilty on a double-murder charge, a woman connected to him was murdered in her driveway.

After changing his story multiple times, Adams now says he committed the murder in self-defense. Will Adams be able to successfully claim self-defense in another murder charge?

Adams Claim Self-Defense & Acquitted on Two Counts of First-Degree Murder

On November 19, 2020, Tampa rapper Billy Bennett Adams III, known as Ace NH, was at a music studio in Lutz, Florida. With him in the small studio was the owner, Joseph Meeks and two other men who were there for a recording session. Two of the men wouldn’t make it out of the studio alive.

Adams admits to killing Trevon Albury and Daniel Thompson. He said he did it in self-defense.

Adams was charged with two counts of first-degree murder. During the trial, he took the stand and calmly explained what he believed happened that night, as reported by the Tampa Bay Times.

Adams said he could hear Albury and Thompson talking to each other about how they were going to rob Meeks. Adams said Albury pulled out a gun and pointed it at the back of Meeks’ head. Adams said he then pulled out his gun and shot Albury once in the back of the head. Thompson reached for Adams’ gun so he fired two shots and killed him.

Adam told a compelling story of self-defense on the stand of his trial — and the jury believed him.

On January 27, 2023, a jury found Adams not guilty. The jury believed Adams killed the two men in self-defense.

Just three days later, another person close to Adams was found dead.

Related: Get Good Legal Representation by Asking This One Question

Adams Lies About Whereabouts on the Night of Another Murder

Alana Sims, a 22-year-old pregnant mother, was found dead lying next to her SUV in her driveway on January 30, 2023. She had been shot in the head. Her toddler was asleep and unharmed in the vehicle next to her.

An unidentified witness said Sims was planning to attend a party the night of her murder. She was invited to celebrate her boyfriend’s recent acquittal on murder charges. The alleged boyfriend was Adams.

In initial questioning, Adams told police he knew Sims but didn’t know she was dead. He claimed he hadn’t seen or spoken to her in weeks. He also said he had been home the night of January 30.

But footage from Sims’ subdivisions proved otherwise.

According to reporting by the Tampa Bay Times, surveillance videos from Sims’ subdivision show a black Chevrolet Malibu, with a license tag registered to Adams’ father, entering the subdivision at 7:22 p.m. on January 30. Footage shows Sims’ vehicle entering the subdivision at 7:36 p.m. and Adams’ vehicle leaving at 8:21 p.m.

Footage from Adams’ gated community shows the same vehicle leaving at 7:10 p.m. and returning at 8:32 p.m. Upon searching the Chevrolet Malibu, police found two live 9mm bullets.

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

Adams Changes His Story

After being confronted with the evidence, Adams changed his story.

He said he’d been out with friends the night of Sims’ murder and showed police a video he said he had taken that night.

Later, police would determine that the video had been recorded at a different time and day.

They would also find text messages that show Adams talking to another woman about his disappointment over Sims’ pregnancy. Texts said, “Tomorrow dis s— done” and “I meant wat I said. We finna have OUR life. … And it don’t include ha a–.”

Adams was arrested and charged with first-degree murder charge and with killing an unborn child by injury to the mother.

Adams Changes His Story Again & Claims Self-Defense Again

Once in police custody, Adams changed his story again.

According to reporting by the Tampa Bay Times, Adams again claimed self-defense.

Adams now says he met Sims at her home at which time she pulled a gun on him. He said he wrestled the gun away from her and shot her. He said he then drove home and threw the gun away. Adams also admitted he knew Sims was pregnant and that he may be the father.

There are laws in Florida that protect people who use deadly force when they feel their life is threatened.

Often referred to as Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, Florida Statute 782.02 says, “The use of deadly force is justifiable when a person is resisting any attempt to murder such person or to commit any felony upon him or her or upon or in any dwelling house in which such person shall be.”

If Adams goes to trial, he will again attempt to convince another jury that he committed murder in the act of self-defense.

Get Expert Legal Advice

If you have questions about a legal matter, talk to an experienced attorney right away. Every person deserves fair due process of the law. Talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney about your case to make sure you get a fair and just outcome. Request your consultation or call 813-226-1023 to schedule a call with TJ Grimaldi today.

A couple was married for 37 years when the loving wife brought a gun into her terminally ill husband’s hospital room and shot him. She said she was honoring his wishes, but now she is facing first-degree murder charges.

What does the law say about assisted suicide, euthanasia, and mercy killing? And what charges does the wife face for honoring her husband’s wishes?

What Happened in the Hospital Room?

Ellen Gilland, 76, and Jerry Gilland, 77, had been high school sweethearts. People close to them say they were a loving couple who were happily married for 37 years. But, their romance came to an end when Ellen Gilland brought a .38 revolver into Jerry Gilland’s 11th-floor hospital room and shot him, per reporting by the New York Times.

Jerry Gilland was reportedly facing a serious health condition, and he and his wife had made a pact. If his condition worsened, he wanted to die. He would do it himself, and if he didn’t have the strength, his wife — a former special education teacher — would do it.

On the day of his death, Jerry Gilland was not strong enough to hold the revolver so his wife did it for him. Ellen Gilland reportedly fired the shot that killed him.

A Three-Hour Standoff Leads to an Arrest

Ellen Gilland fired the shot around 11:35 a.m. at AdventHealth hospital in Daytona Beach, Florida, killing her husband.

When police arrived, she refused to leave the room, later stating she was planning to turn the gun on herself. Ellen Gilland didn’t threaten to shoot anyone, but she didn’t put the gun down as police officers tried to negotiate with her.

A 3.5-hour standoff required patients and staff to be evacuated from the area.

Police finally detained Ellen Gilland around 3:00 p.m. after using a flash-bang device and a non-lethal round, according to reporting by The Daytona Beach News-Journal.

Ellen Gilland was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

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

Wife Faces First-Degree Murder Charges

First-degree murder is the most serious murder charge in Florida. It is a Capital Offense defined by Florida Statute 782.04(1)(a) as murder that is either premeditated or committed while in the act of a felony.

Ellen Gilland appears to have planned her husband’s murder, making it premeditated.

The punishment for first-degree murder in Florida is life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death penalty.

Related: Get Good Legal Representation by Asking This One Question

Florida Law on Assisted Suicide, Euthanasia, and Mercy Killing

Florida law bans forms of assisted suicide, euthanasia, and mercy killing.

Florida State Code 765.309 says, “Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to condone, authorize, or approve mercy killing or euthanasia, or to permit any affirmative or deliberate act or omission to end life other than to permit the natural process of dying.”

No information appears to have been released on Jerry Gilland’s prior medical condition or diagnosis, but even if he had been dying, Ellen Gilland committed a crime under Florida laws.

Even in states with Death With Dignity, Right to Die, or End of Life Options laws on the books, Ellen Gilland’s action would be considered illegal.

Denied Bond and Facing Serious Charges

Ellen Gilland remains in prison as a judge denied her request to be released on bond.

During the bond hearing, a psychiatrist and two of Ellen Gilland’s nieces testified on her behalf. The psychiatrist said he believed Ellen Gilland was no longer suffering from the depressive episode that led her to shoot her husband and that she was no longer a threat to herself or others.

Two of Gilland’s nieces testified and said Ellen Gilland was welcome to stay with them at their home. One niece said Jerry Gilland’s family supported Ellen Gilland’s pretrial release and that they had “no animosity” towards her.

But, the judge was not convinced.

He denied the request. “This is extremely sympathetic,” the judge said at the end of the hearing, but “the law in the state of Florida does not allow for a mercy killing.”

Related: The Best Criminal Defense Attorneys Have These 7 Qualities

Talk to an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

When charged with crimes, it’s essential to have an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Whether facing a misdemeanor or a felony, you need a defense attorney to ensure that you get due process of the law and the best possible outcome. If you are facing criminal charges, talk to an experienced attorney today. TJ Grimaldi is here to help guide you through your case. Request your consultation or call 813-226-1023 to talk to TJ today.

When Kim Kardashian and Kayne West announced their split, many speculated what the terms of their divorce might look like. Now, we know. Here are the terms of the divorce that include West paying $200,000 per month in child support.

A Brief History of Kardashian and West’s Relationship

In 2012, Kim Kardashian and Kayne West announced they were dating. The two had known each other since the early 2000s but officially started dating in April 2012. A little more than a year later, the couple welcomed their first child. The couple was then married in 2014 and welcomed three more children over the next five years.

Throughout the years, the couple had public rough patches that often put them in the news. The public incidents peaked in 2020 when West announced he was running for president of the United States.

In February 2021, Kardashian officially filed for divorce from West.

It had been previously reported that Kardashian and West had a prenuptial agreement. According to reports, the prenup outlined how the couple’s assets would be divided, but it didn’t include guidelines for child custody, child support, and spousal support.

Recently, those details were reported after the couple finalized their divorce.

Related: The Legal Case Behind Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s Divorce   

The Details of Child Custody

According to details of the divorce settlement, Kardashian and West will share joint custody of their four children: North, 9; Saint, 6; Chicago, 4; and Psalm, 3.

Joint custody provides both parents legal custody, physical custody, or both. Legal custody grants a parent the right to make decisions about how the child will be raised and cared for. Physical custody grants a parent the right to have the child live with them.

While the settlement said each parent has “equal access,” it’s likely that Kardashian will live with the children a majority of the time. West has made comments stating that Kardashian is with the kids roughly 80% of the time.

Related: 5 Types of Child Custody and What They Mean for Your Family   

The Details of Child Support

The divorce settlement also stated that Kardashian will receive $200,000 a month from West for child support. West will also pay 50% of the children’s educational and security expenses.

In divorce cases that involve children, child support payments can be determined by the family, through mediation, or by a judge. It appears that West and Kardashian came to the agreement together. The settlement also included directions for what happens if either party has a dispute with the agreement in the future.

The settlement says if the couple has a dispute over their agreement, they must attend mediation. If either party fails to show up to mediation, the participating party becomes the decision-maker.

Related: 6 Ways to Prepare for Divorce Mediation

The Details of Spousal Support

Per the divorce settlement, neither West nor Kardashian will receive spousal support.

It was previously reported that both West and Kardashian requested a termination of the court’s ability to award spousal support back in April 2021. The recent settlement confirmed that the couple waived spousal support.

Related: 9 Questions to Ask a Divorce Attorney Before Hiring Them 

The Details of Property Division

Kardashian and West had already come to an agreement on how to split their property per a prenuptial agreement. It was reported that their prenup stated:

  • Kardashian and West would each keep the individual assets they had when they entered the marriage
  • Kardashian and West would both keep the individual assets they acquired during their marriage
  • Kardashian would receive $1 million for each year she was married to West (capped at $10 million)
  • Their primary residence would be in Kardashian’s name
  • Kardashian would keep all of the jewelry and gifts given to her by West

Since the details of property division were already outlined, the couple only needed to resolve their family matters for the divorce to be finalized. Now, it appears that all details of their divorce are settled.

Related: What Happens After Divorce Papers Are Served?

How to Navigate a Complex Divorce

Divorce can be complicated. Between splitting up assets and coming to agreements on child support, child custody, and spousal support, a couple has a lot to think about.

If you’re going through a divorce, make sure you have a divorce attorney by your side who can help you consider all of your options and come out with the best possible outcome for everyone involved.

If you’d like to discuss your marital split, talk to TJ Grimaldi. TJ is an experienced family law attorney who can help you terminate your divorce while also setting up agreements for splitting up assets and creating arrangements for your family. Schedule your consultation or call 813-226-1023 today.

Johnny Knoxville is known for his pranks. As the star of the “Jackass” franchise, Knoxville and his crew often perform pranks and stunts that put them in uncomfortable, embarrassing, or even dangerous situations.

But one of their pranks may have gone too far, and it led to a lawsuit.

What did Knoxville do, and will he be liable for damages?

A Prank Gone Too Far?

Khalil Khan is a freelance electrician in California who finds work through the Taskrabbit app.

According to Variety, Khan received a request to repair an electric dimmer switch at a private home. When Khan arrived at the home, he met a man who threatened to beat him up if he didn’t do the job right. Khan started to work on the dimmer switch when a lamp went out and a ten-year-old girl came into the room. The girl told him he made the power go out and killed her horse which was on life support in another room.

The ten-year-old was an actor involved in the prank put on by Knoxville and his team.

Khan was then brought into a room, which appeared to have a pony hooked up to machines. From there, Khan could see out the window, and his car was being towed. When Khan said he wanted to call the cops, a man pulled out a bag of white powder and told Khan he would get in trouble because his vehicle had cocaine in it.

Khan said he was “horrified” by the incident.

Knoxville eventually disclosed to Khan that he was being pranked. Knoxville was filming the prank for his new series “The Prank Patrol,” an ABC comedy series set to premiere in 2023.

Knoxville offered Kahn money for his participation, but rather than take the money, Khan filed a lawsuit.

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

Handman Files Emotional Distress Lawsuit

Khan filed a lawsuit in Long Beach Superior Court that alleges that he was put into a state of panic by the prank. He is seeking damages for emotional distress, worry, anxiety, and possible harm to his business reputation.

The lawsuit states, “In the span of just minutes, he had been threatened with being beaten up, told he botched the repair job, accused of murdering a pony, had his car taken without his permission, and was now being told that he would be arrested for possession of illicit narcotics.”

“He has been badly shaken and traumatized by this episode,” the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit claims that Khan has suffered lack of sleep, anxiety, and emotional distress. It is not clear what damages the lawsuit seeks.

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

Can You Sue for Emotional Distress?

The lawsuit is filed in California and will abide by California law. California allows victims to sue for infliction of emotional distress (IIED).

In Florida, a victim could file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court to sue for emotional distress. While it can be more difficult to prove emotional injury than physical injury, victims can seek damages if the negligence of another party led to their suffering.

To win a case for emotional distress, the victim would need to prove fault for a personal injury case. The plaintiff would need to prove two things.

  • The defendant created a situation that led to emotional distress. The defendant intentionally created the situation or created the situation due to negligence.
  • The emotional distress led to damages. The distress led to compensation damages (such as the cost for medical bills, loss of earnings, etc.) and/or general compensatory damages, also known as “pain and suffering” compensation.

In Khan’s situation, he may have a case if he can prove that the prank led to emotional distress which needed to be treated by medical doctors or led to the loss of income. He may also be able to show that he lost business due to damage to his business reputation.

Khan and Knoxville could settle the case out of court, or the case will continue to wind its way through the legal system.

Related: Want to Sue for Personal Injury? Take These 4 Steps  

Fight for Your Rights

If you experience harm due to the negligence or maliciousness of another person, you deserve to be made whole. Whether the harm is physical or emotional, you can fight to get to what is owed to you.

Talk to a personal injury attorney about your options for collecting damages to recover from financial, physical, or emotional harm that was caused to you or your business.

To get answers to any of your personal injury questions, talk to TJ Grimaldi. TJ is an experienced personal attorney offering free consultations to discuss personal injury cases. Talk to TJ today about your case. Request your appointment or call 813-226-1023 now.