BTG Files Legal Malpractice Lawsuit For Missed Statute of Limitations for Cruise Ship Assault Victims
A Florida couple who suffered an assault and battery while passengers on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship are suing their former law firm for squandering their chance at justice and compensation by failing to file their lawsuit on time.
Mitchell and Dannamarie Miorelli hired the Business Trial Group’s Damien H. Prosser to seek compensation and damages on their behalf, filing a lawsuit for legal malpractice against their previously retained firm, Halscott Megaro, P.A.
The Miorellis were the victims of an assault by three Royal Caribbean cruise ship passengers in November 2015. Following this, the couple retained Halscott Megaro, P.A.to represent them in seeking compensation from the assailants and Royal Carribean cruise line in February 2016. Time was of the essence because the ticket policy that governed the 2015 cruise required that any personal injury lawsuit against the cruise line must be filed within a year of the alleged injury, and that notice must be given to the cruise line within six months.
Despite these tight deadlines, Halscott Megaro gave notice to the cruise line in May 2016, past the six month deadline, and filed legal action in July 2017, long past the one-year statute of limitations. At no time between the retention of Defendants and the filing of the Complaint in July of 2017, did Halscott Megaro advise the Miorellis that any lawsuit against Royal Caribbean had to be filed within the one-year statute of limitations period.
Unsurprisingly, Royal Caribbean moved to dismiss the Complaint as barred by the one-year time deadline in the cruise ticket contract, and the district court granted their motion.
Halscott Megaro’s appeals on the basis of equitable tolling proved unsuccessful. The Federal Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit noted that Halscott Megaro had knowledge of the limitations period in the cruise ticket contract, and ruled that “[c]ourts generally will not apply equitable tolling when the late filing is caused by ‘garden-variety’ neglect.” Halscott Megaro also tried petitioning the Supreme Court of the United States for a writ of certiorari to review the Eleventh Circuit’s opinion, but their attempt was denied.
Holding Negligent Attorneys Accountable
The Business Trial Group, on behalf of the Miorellis, has filed legal action against their previously retained law firm, seeking damages on counts of professional negligence and breach of fiduciary duty.
The suit alleges that previous counsel failed in their duty to “exercise the degree of care that would be exercised by other reasonably skilled legal professionals practicing under the same circumstances by failing to file the Complaint within relevant limitation periods under (the) Plaintiffs’ ticket contract”.
In short: these lawyers should have known about the relevant deadlines for filing the required notice and legal action, and they should have filed on time — but they didn’t. As a result of these failures, our clients suffered serious financial harm. We are seeking to address that harm by holding previous counsel to account, and extracting appropriate damages.
Contingency-Fee Attorney Malpractice Litigation
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Our attorneys work exclusively on the contingency-fee model: You don’t pay unless and until we win. Our goal is to not only be the best legal malpractice attorneys in Florida, but to make the highest quality representation affordable.
Our attorneys have a track record of success in the courtroom and at the negotiating table, and are always prepared – and have the necessary resources – to take your case as far as it needs to go. Contact us today to discuss your case at no charge.