Negligent Security Seminar | March 2015

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Amber May`s Tragedy

On August 18, 2007, Amber May White, age 15, and her sister Crystal, 17, were on vacation in Pompano Beach, Florida. They decided to go parasailing for the first time in their lives. The resort at which they were staying directed them to the water sports provider at the hotel. Despite warnings from the weather service about high winds and seas, the parasailing operator took the sisters up behind the hotel. The boat was very close to shore and the girls were over 500 feet in the air when the winds pulled them onto shore. Despite pleas from Amber to bring them down, they sat strapped in hundreds of feet in the air. After several minutes stuck in the same place, the line holding the parasail snapped, hurling the girls into the roof of a nearby hotel, and then into the trees, where they had to be cut down. Sadly, Amber's neck was broken. When she was airlifted to the hospital they determined that she was brain dead. She was kept on life support long enough for her mother, Shannon Kraus, to arrange for organ donation.

Because of Amber May, today there is a young girl with a heart and many others with Amber's other organs. Sunday, August 26th would have been Amber's Sweet 16 birthday. Instead of a party, her friends and family gathered at her funeral to say goodbye to this amazing young lady. Crystal suffered serious head injuries but, most important, has lost her sister and very best friend. The sisters were known as a "team" since they did everything together. Crystal was holding Amber's hand to calm her when the parasail started to fail. The equipment used by the parasailing company was inadequate and faulty, the operator ignored weather warnings, and the parasailing should never have been within 2000 feet of land or structures. Nevertheless a precious life is gone that cannot be replaced.

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John Leighton appears on CNN to comment on proposed parasailing safety regulations.

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John Leighton appears on NBC's "Today" show as part of his representation of the family of Amber May White, who was killed in a parasailing tragedy.

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John Leighton is featured on the cover of Attorney At Law magazine as its "Attorney of the Month".

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John Leighton's 2 volume book Litigating Premises Security Cases.

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