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Negligent Security Seminar | March 2015

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Yet Another Parasailing Tragedy in Florida Keys Kills Tourist

The Memorial Day weekend parasailing tragedy involving the death of Supraja Alaparthi, 33, and serious injuries to her nephew Vishant Sadat, 7, bring to light the hazards from negligent operation of this activity.  Ms. Alaparthi and her son and nephew were parasailing in the Florida Keys over the holiday weekend.  When winds picked up, the parasailing boat captain apparently cut the tow line, catapulting the woman and children into the Seven Mile Bridge.  Ms. Alparthi was killed and the 7 year-old child was airlifted to Nicklaus Miami Children’s Hospital.

Parasailing, which is a popular vacation activity, belies hidden dangers which have killed many tourists in Florida and elsewhere.  It requires skill and attention to weather.  All boat captains know that in Florida in the summer the winds can increase quickly and storms roll in.  Parasailing should never take place anywhere near a fixed object like a bridge or other structure.

In 2014 Florida enacted a statewide parasailing safety law in response to high-profile parasailing tragedies. Florida Statutes Section 327.02, which represents the first law regulating the parasailing industry in the country, was passed and signed after years of work by victims and their advocates.  This law is was the first attempt to reign in the industry and requires minimum standards and liability insurance. Leighton Law’s John Leighton fiercely advocated for passage of what is now known as the Miskell-White Act after representing the family of Amber May White, who was killed in a parasailing accident off Pompano Beach in 2007. Her sister was also seriously injured in that tragedy.

Since then Mr. Leighton, Max Panoff and the lawyers at Leighton Law have been widely recognized for representing victims of parasailing accidents in Florida and elsewhere, and continue to fight for improved standards and laws.  Despite the laws, failures by the parasailing operators continue to plague this sport, leaving vacationers injured and dead.

Article by:

John Leighton

A nationally-recognized trial lawyer who handles catastrophic injury and death cases. He manages Leighton Law, P.A. trial lawyers, with offices in Miami and Orlando, Florida. He is President of The National Crime Victim Bar Association, author of the 2-volume textbook,Litigating Premises Security Cases, and past Chairman of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America’s Motor Vehicle, Highway & Premises Liability Section. Having won some of the largest verdicts in Florida history, Mr. Leighton is listed inThe Best Lawyers in America (14 years), “Top Lawyers” in the South Florida Legal Guide (15 years), Top 100 Florida SuperLawyer™ and Florida SuperLawyers (14 years), “Orlando Legal Elite” by Orlando Style magazine, and FloridaTrend magazine “Florida Legal Elite

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