Attorney Justin C. Leto reaches settlement with Broward County for $300,000

Watch NBC 6 investigative report featuring Justin C. Leto

Justin C. Leto of Leto | Bassuk has been featured in an NBC 6 investigative report about the problems in the Broward County paratransit system.  The investigation stems from an incident involving Leto | Bassuk client, Miguel Colareta.  Miguel was a disabled resident of Broward County in 2012 and utilized the TOPS paratransit program to get to and from work.  On April 16, 2012 he was backing his electric wheelchair out of a van owned and operated by private contractor Allied Medical Transport when the van’s wheelchair lift failed, causing Miguel to fall to the ground.  The fall caused a break in his spine and a bleed in his brain.  The end result was that this man that had worked so hard to overcome his disabilities was left a quadriplegic, relegated to a nursing home and in need of 24 hour care.

Leto | Bassuk (known at the time as The Leto Law Firm) filed a lawsuit against Allied Medical Transport and the manufacturer of the lift.  After resolving the matter with the lift manufacturer, the case proceeded against Allied Medical Transport.  A judgment was eventually entered against Allied Medical Transport for $10 million, which you can read about here.

Next, a lawsuit was filed against Broward County alleging a complete mismanagement of the paratransit system.  Recently, Broward County agreed to settle the case for the maximum allowable under statutory caps, $300,000.

Tony Pipitone of NBC 6 has been following this story and other stories involving the problems surrounding the paratransit programs in both Miami-Dade and Broward County, and following this settlement with Broward County, NBC 6 interviewed Aida Colareta and Justin Leto about the case, the result, and what it will mean for the Colareta family.

Leto | Bassuk proudly represents victims in catastrophic injury cases, traumatic brain injury cases, and wrongful death cases.  Whether the injury or wrongful death is caused by medical malpractice, trucking negligence, auto negligence, construction defect, or product defect, Leto | Bassuk has the experience necessary to pursue the case with success.

Featured on NBC 6–$10 million judgment for man injured in Broward County paratransit vehicle

Justin C. Leto recently obtained a $10 million judgment for a man who was catastrophically injured when he fell from the wheelchair lift affixed to a Broward County TOPS van, which was owned and operated by Allied Medical Transport, Inc.  NBC interviewed the victim, his family and Justin C. Leto regarding the ordeal and the long path to justice.  You can read the article and watch the video here.

 

Miguel Colareta suffered from a chronic condition which rendered him unable to walk.  Despite his disability, he raised three daughters with his wife, Aida, and continued to go to work every day at Goodwill Industries in Ft. Lauderdale.  Since he could not drive or take the county bus, Miguel used the paratransit system provided by Broward County.  A van equipped with a wheelchair lift would pick him up from home each morning, drive him to work, and pick him up to take him home when the work day was over.

 

On April 15, 2012, Miguel arrived at work on one of the paratransit vans.  While he was backing his wheelchair up onto the wheelchair lift, the lift failed and Miguel fell to the ground.  The result was a severe brain and spinal cord injury which rendered him a quadriplegic.  A man who battled disability with success his entire life was now relegated to a nursing home, unable to move his hands or even lift his head.

 

Our firm investigated the case and found out that Allied Medical Transport had performed absolutely no preventative maintenance on the wheelchair lifts, despite the manufacturer requiring routine and specific maintenance.  Shockingly, the wheelchair lift that failed and caused Miguel’s fall had been open and closed nearly 9,000 times without any preventative maintenance.  The manufacturer required preventative maintenance every 750 times the lift was used.  This gross negligence was not isolated to the one van but appeared to be the norm for the entire operation.  Some vans had lifts which had received no maintenance after 15,000 cycles.

 

To make matters worse, the wheelchair lift that caused Miguel’s fall was the subject of a recall only one month prior to the incident and even though Allied Medical Transport knew of the recall, the vans were permitted to continue operating throughout Broward County.

 

After many months of litigation, our firm secured a $10 million judgment against Allied Medical Transport and is now suing Allied Medical Transport’s insurance company, Sparta Insurance, alleging that Sparta acted in bad faith when it failed to settle the case for it’s insurance policy limits when it should have done so.

 

 

Justin C. Leto featured in NBC6 report on Redland Police Shooting

In February 2013, we published our first blog posting about the killing of Antonio Andrew by Miami-Dade police in a botched police SWAT operation. You can read that blog posting here. A second blog posting was added after the Daily Business Review investigated the shooting death of Antonio Andrew by police. You can read that blog posting here.

 

Our firm settled the cases involving these police shootings for $600,000 after filing suit in federal court. Since that time, NBC6 investigative journalist Tony Pipitone has done a series of stories about this shooting and the need for police to wear cameras on their uniforms for their protection and for the protection of the public.  See links here, and here

 

As part of a story run on NBC6 in January 2015, Justin C. Leto was interviewed about the shooting deaths of Antonio Andrew, Jorge Lemus and Roger Gonzalez, Sr. A link to that story is here.

 

Other news outlets have also covered this story including The Miami Herald (link to story here), The Miami New Times (link to story here), and CBS (link to story here).

 

At Leto | Bassuk, we represent victims of wrongful death, civil rights violations, medical malpractice, nursing home malpractice, product liability, auto accident, and other types of personal injury.

The Leto Law Firm files suit against Florida Hospital Orlando

The Leto Law Firm Files Wrongful Death Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Against Florida Hospital Orlando.

 

A central Florida resident passed away at Florida Hospital Orlando on March 8, 2013. His wife hired The Leto Law Firm to investigate the case to see if medical malpractice caused the man’s death. After conducting an investigation and hiring medical experts, The Leto Law Firm determined that the death was the result of medical malpractice and filed suit against Florida Hospital Orlando.

 

The lawsuit alleges the following set of facts:

 

The man went to Florida Hospital Orlando for a cardiac catheterization.  The result of the cardiac catheterization revealed that a bypass was necessary.  His heart surgery was more complicated than the average bypass procedure because he had a history of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia.  This is, in essence, an allergy to heparin, which is the most commonly used anti-coagulant (blood thinner) for bypass patients.  The doctors knew that he had a history of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia so he was prescribed a special drug to counteract any allergic reactions he may have had as a result of the use of heparin during the bypass.  This drug (methylprednisone a/k/a Solumedrol), prescribed by the surgeon, was supposed to be given every 8 hours beginning the day before the surgery.  The medication was given by the nursing staff at 4pm and midnight the day prior to surgery, but the dose that was set to be given at 8am on the morning of the surgery was not given by the nursing staff.  Instead, the nurse responsible for following the doctor’s orders neglected to give the required medication.  Furthermore, the nurse failed to inform the surgeon that the medication was not given.  As a result, he went to surgery and received a large dose of heparin without the prescribed dose of medication specifically prescribed to counter the potentially harmful effects of heparin.

 

The surgery was a success but shortly after return to the recovery room, a rash formed all throughout his body.  He was covered in welts and his blood pressure dropped dramatically.  A code blue was called and he was rushed back to emergency surgery. Sadly, the doctors were unable to revive him and he died in the operating room.

 

A medical malpractice lawsuit claiming that the hospital and it’s nurses failed to provide proper care and treatment has been filed.
The Leto Law Firm represents victims of Florida medical malpractice, wrongful death, and all other personal injury matters throughout the State of Florida.  The firm is honored to be able to represent this family in this sad and tragic case.  Medical errors are all too common in this country and we fight for the victims of those medical errors.

 

To see a prior media appearance by Justin Leto on issues related to medical malpractice experts testifying at trial, take a look at this link from Headline News.

Florida Attorneys Challenging Medical Malpractice Law

In late 2012, the Florida Supreme Court issued its ruling in Hasan v. Garvin.  You can read our blog on that decision here (http://letolaw.wpengine.com/blog/miami-medical-malpractice-lawyer-florida-supreme-court-doctor-patient-confidentialit/).  In its decision, the Florida Supreme Court took steps to protect patients from intrusive efforts by defense lawyers and insurance companies to investigate private medical information of a patient that decides to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit.

 

In response, the Florida Legislature passed a new law during the recent legislative session which, in essence, reverses the Florida Supreme Court and provides defendants access to private and confidential health information of victims of medical malpractice.  Even further, defense lawyers and insurance companies can now speak directly to the victim’s doctors, a practice that is seemingly in violation of federal privacy laws.

 

These laws went into effect on July 1, 2013 but lawyers for medical malpractice victims are seeking injunctions from the state and federal courts, arguing that these laws directly violate HIPAA and other healthcare privacy laws.  Separate from the fact that the law is in direct violation of HIPAA, these laws will serve to discourage people from pursuing a medical malpractice claim for fear of having their privacy violated.

 

These laws, as well many other complex and complicated laws that are specific only to medical malpractice claims require considerable legal knowledge and experience. At the Leto Law Firm, our Miami Medical Malpractice Lawyers have many years of experience handling the most complex medical malpractice cases. To set up a consultation regarding a medical malpractice claim,  please call us at (305) 577-8448 or email info@letolaw.com.

Drug Errors and Missed Diagnoses Making Up Most Primary Care Malpractice Claims

 
 

Most people believe that the leading cases of medical malpractice are brought from injuries caused in a hospital environment or from the treatment of a doctor. While medical malpractice committed by hospital based doctors, surgeons and hospitals is a serious area of concern in the legal and medical communities, a considerable percentage of claims every year are from missed diagnoses and prescription drug errors that lead to serious and oftentimes catastrophic injuries. These cases are usually the result of negligence of a primary care or family doctor in their own private practices. Today, primary care physicians are being named as defendants in malpractice suits at an accelerating rate, and the trend is prominent not just in the U.S, but also in the U.K. and Australia.

 

Published data in BMJ Open, an online forum dedicated to publishing medical research, indicates that the majority of malpractice claims brought against doctors are from missed diagnoses- particularly of cancer, heart attack, and meningitis- as well as drug errors. In the United States, studies indicate that malpractice claims brought against primary care doctors accounted for between 7.6% and 16%, the majority of which were on account of missed diagnoses. In the UK, the suits are increasing at the fastest rate, while in Australia, the claims against general practitioners accounts for the both the highest number and highest rate of increase. The most common result of these medical errors was the patient’s death and most of the deaths reported from these missed diagnosis were preventable if the proper care was instituted. Similarly, the second most-common sources of malpractice claims were drug errors, the proportion of which ranged 5.6% to 20% across all studies.

 

Despite the number of malpractice cases brought against primary care physicians, a substantial proportion of claims were unsuccessful, with only a third of U.S. claims ending up in a pay-out to the victim, either through verdict or settlement. At the Leto Law Firm, we specialize in Medical Malpractice-among other areas- and have extensive experience handling such cases for victims and their families. To contact one of our expert Miami medical malpractice lawyers, call 305-577-8448, or visit LetoLaw.com.

Miami-Dade County police shooting case profiled by the Daily Business Review

Posted by Justin C. Leto

 

Back in February, I wrote a blog discussing the case of Antonio Andrew’s death at the hands of the Miami-Dade County Special Response Team and Street Terror Offender Program.  You can read that blog posting here.

 

In today’s Daily Business Review, journalist John Pacenti wrote an article detailing the same case as well as a recently filed case on behalf of another man killed in the same raid, Jorge Lemus.  The Daily Business Review article can be read by clicking here.  The Lemus case, like the Andrew case, was filed by The Leto Law Firm and Dean-Kluger Sibley Law

 

The case involves the shooting deaths of 4 men during a raid set up and instituted by the Miami-Dade County Police Department.  Prior to the raid, the police were able to infiltrate a group of men that were robbing drug dealers in Miami-Dade County.  The police “turned” one of the men into an informant and utilized that informant to set up a raid that should have been designed to apprehend and arrest the men.  The police told the informant to send the men to a house in South Miami’s Redlands area and to inform the group that there were drugs and potentially armed drug dealers at the house.  Expecting a confrontation, the men went armed to the house.  When they arrived, the police rushed the area in unmarked cars and proceeded to jump out of the unmarked cars in pursuit of the men.  The police were not dressed in police uniforms and did not announce themselves as police.  Instead, the officers proceeded to shoot and kill all 4 men, including the informant.  We have filed suit on behalf of two families of the men, claiming that their constitutional rights were violated by a “shoot first and ask questions later” approach to the raid.

 

The Leto Law Firm is a civil trial law firm that specializes in Miami catastrophic injuries, Florida traumatic brain injury, Miami wrongful death cases, and civil rights violations.

 

The Leto Law Firm defeats Medtronic’s motion to dismiss claims related to the dangerous Infuse bone graft

 

Lazaro Martinez suffered serious injury as the result of back surgery.  During the surgery, our Miami medical malpractice lawyers allege that a neurosurgeon made several medical errors in the placement of pedicle screws which caused serious nerve damage.  The Complaint also alleges that a radiologist reading an MRI shortly after surgery failed to recognize the misplacement of the pedicle screws, thus allowing the impingement upon Lazaro’s nerves to continue.

 

Furthermore, we allege that the negligent neurosurgeon used a dangerous product during surgery known as the Infuse bone graft, which is manufactured by Medtronic, Inc. and Medtronic Sofamor Danek USA, Inc.  The surgeon used Infuse is a way that was not approved by the Food and Drug Administration and, as a result of this “off-label” use, the Infuse caused serious overgrowth of bone throughout Lazaro’s back, ultimately encasing his nerve roots and causing serious and irreversible nerve damage.

 

In our Complaint, , we allege that Medtronic was aware of the problems associated with Infuse but failed to make them known to both the FDA and the general public (including doctors that use their products).  Instead of providing information to the FDA and the physicians, we allege that Medtronic concealed the information and actually paid physicians to write more favorable reports on the testing of Infuse.  Further, we allege that Medtronic promoted Infuse for a use for which it was not approved.  Lastly, we allege that when Medtronic became aware of problems associated with off label use of Infuse, Medtronic turned a blind eye and continued to promote a use which they knew was unreasonably dangerous.

 

This seems like a simple product liability case.  But it’s not.  Medtronic has been successful in many courts throughout the country in having claims against it dismissed under the protection of federal preemption.  In short, Medtronic argues that the FDA forces it into a lengthy approval process for the product and once that approval has been granted, only the FDA can sanction or punish Medtronic for any wrongdoing.  According to Medtronic, even if they are directly responsible for injuries to users of their products, they should not be held responsible for any damages suffered by people like Lazaro Martinez. The crux of Medtronic’s argument is threefold:

 

1.  If there is not a state law claim that is identical to the federal regulations that govern Medtronic, than the claim is expressly preempted and should be dismissed;

2.  Even if the claim is not expressly preempted, if the claim is borne from the regulations promulgated by the FDA, then only the FDA can enforce such a claim and, as such, the claims in state court are impliedly preempted and should be dismissed;

3.  Even if the claims are not expressly or impliedly preempted, if the claim asserts that Medtronic’s actions likely would have resulted in the FDA doing something different (like punishing Medtronic or forcing Medtronic to strengthen its warnings to the public), than the claim is purely speculative and, thus, Plaintiff can never prove that any actions of Medtronic caused the Plaintiff’s damages.

 

Medtronic relies upon a litany of cases throughout the United States, each of which tends to have a different interpretation as to whether claims against Medtronic are preempted.

 

In our case, we argued many different points to address the deficiencies of Medtronic’s claims of preemption.

 

First, the United States Supreme Court was clear in its holding in Reigel v. U.S. that state law claims are not preempted if the state law claim parallels the federal law.  The question becomes, what is a “parallel claim?”  We assert, in our Complaint, that Medtronic violated several of the Codes of Federal Regulations which govern their marketing and promotion activities, and that these claims of violations of the Code of Federal Regulations directly parallel Florida’s common law duty of care.  Medtronic countered this argument by asserting that a parallel claim must be identical to the federal regulation.  In other words, to believe Medtronic’s assertion, one would have to believe that the only way to assert a state law cause of action against Medtronic would be an instance where the state has a law that says that you cannot violate the exact federal law that we allege Medtronic violated.  This is an argument that has been expressly rejected by several federal courts, and, logically speaking, it is an argument which makes no sense.

 

Second, we argued that several of the federal laws did not require us to speculate as to how the FDA would act in order to effectuate change.  Instead, some of the laws specifically state that Medtronic was required to submit additional information to the FDA before offering the Infuse for anything other than iits approved use.  Since Medtronic was promoting the Infuse for use in a way other than the expressly approved FDA use, Medtronic was first required to submit a supplemental application to the FDA to approve this new use.  Failing to do so was a violation of the federal regulations and also a breach of its duty of care under state law.

 

Third, we argued that the Infuse was not entitled to the protections of federal preemption because Infuse, alone, was not a medical device approved by the FDA.  Instead, the FDA approved a device with two distinct component parts: Infuse and LT-Cage.  LT-Cage is a cage that holds Infuse and the FDA only approved Infuse for use with the LT-Cage.  Promotion of Infuse without LT-Cage amounts to an unapproved use and, thus, we argued, there was no entitlement to any federal preemption.

 

The issues were briefed and the Court heard argument on March 1, 2013.  After hearing argument from both sides, the Court denied Medtronic’s Motion to Dismiss, allowing Lazaro Martinez’s case to proceed.

 

Considering the success that Medtronic has had throughout the United States in suppressing similar claims, this was a very big victory not only for Lazaro Martinez but for any other person that is injured by the unapproved and off label use of Infuse. The tides are shifting and there have been many more courts rejecting Medtronic’s arguments.  For victims that suffer the way Lazaro does, and many other people do, this shift means they can seek compensation for their injuries.

 

The Leto Law Firm is a defective products law firm and Miami traumatic brain injury law firm specializing in helping victims of negligence seek compensation for their injuries.

The Leto Law Firm files suit against the City of Miami for failing to turn over evidence of arresting officer’s history of brain injury

 

On February 21, 2012, The Leto Law Firm filed suit against the City of Miami, alleging a violation of Ioannis Kralievits’ civil and constitutional rights.  The lawsuit is the result of the City’s failure to produce material, exculpatory evidence about an officer that arrested Mr. Kralievits for DUI.  This purposeful and/or grossly negligent failure by the City to provide constitutionally required discovery in a criminal trial led to a wrongful conviction of Mr. Kralievits.  It was only years later, when a local news station unearthed the damning evidence against the arresting officer, that Mr. Kralievits’ conviction was vacated.  Unfortunately for Mr. Kralievits, he had already paid significant attorney’s fees in his defense and had served the entirety of his sentence.  Now, Mr. Kralievits seeks damages for the City’s violation of his constitutional ad civil rights.

 

It all started on June 10, 2011.  Mr. Kralievits was pulled over by Miami police Lieutenant Jeffrey Locke.  Suspecting that Mr. Kralievits was intoxicated, Lt. Locke conducted a series of roadside tests.  Based upon these roadside tests, Lt. Locke arrested Mr. Kralievits for DUI.  The case proceeded to trial.  The only witness that testified against Mr. Kralievits was Lt. Locke. Based upon Lt. Locke’s testimony, the jury found Mr. Kralievits guilty of DUI.

 

After serving his full sentence, a WSVN investigative report  broke news that revealed Lt. Locke had been suffering from a traumatic brain injury and subsequent permanent cognitive brain disability following two  on-the job auto accidents in 1996 and 1997.  The WSVN report found that Lt. Locke sued the City in 2003 for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act when they denied him accommodations for the Lieutenant’s exam.  Documents from that lawsuit revealed that Lt. Locke had been involved in two on-duty car accidents in 1996 and 1997, which left him with a 10% permanent disability – a disability that affected his “thinking, sleeping, speaking, memory, learning and reading” and his ability to handle stress.  Despite knowing about this permanent cognitive disability which affected the very faculties necessary to properly and adequately perform the responsibilities of a police officer, the City allowed Lt. Locke to continue to patrol the streets of Miami and make thousands of arrests over a twelve-year period.

 

When Mr. Kralievits learned that the City and State never provided this information regarding Lt. Locke’s cognitive deficits prior to trial, he hired criminal defense firm Hirschhorn and Bieber, P.A. to have his conviction vacated for the violation of his right to receive such material exculpatory evidence under the Fourteenth Amendment and Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963).  On January 4, 2013, Mr. Kralievits’ conviction and sentence were thrown out.  His criminal attorneys argued that the City and State had a duty and obligation to provide this information about Lt. Locke prior to trial.  Why was this information so important?  Because clearly his attorneys could have convinced the jury that Lt. Locke was unable to effectively determine whether Mr. Kralievits was intoxicated based upon his traumatic and permanent brain injury.  The decision to withhold this information amounted to a clear violation of Mr. Kralievits’ constitutional rights.

 

As a result of the City’s misconduct, Mr. Kralievits has filed suit in federal court.  The lawsuit alleges that the City of Miami knew, as early as 1998, that Lt. Locke suffered from this permanent cognitive brain disability, but purposefully withheld this information from the State Attorney’s Office so it would not be turned over to criminal defendants arrested by Lt. Locke.   As a result of this conduct by the City, Mr. Kralievits’ constitutional right to due process under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was violated.  The lawsuit seeks damages from the City for the violation of Mr. Kralievits’ civil rights.

 

WSVN reported on Mr. Kralievits’ case, which can be found here: http://www.wsvn.com/features/articles/carmelcase/MI97085/.  The original report by WSVN can be found here: http://www.wsvn.com/features/articles/carmelcase/MI96153/.

 

The Leto Law Firm is a Miami personal injury law firm specializing in representing victims of civil rights violations, medical malpractice, products liability, traumatic brain injury, auto accidents and business disputes.

Medical malpractice lawsuit filed by The Leto Law Firm–Should legally married same-sex couple be able to assert claim?

Florida law does not allow same-sex marriage.  And Florida case law has consistently held that same-sex couples are not entitled to the same legal rights as traditional couples.  However, in more progressive states, there has been a trend to legalize same-sex marriage and allow people to decide freely who they can and cannot marry.  With marriage comes a great deal of legal entitlements such as tax benefits, estate planning benefits, health care surrogacy rights, and the right to pursue a claim in court when your spouse is either injured or killed by someone else’s negligence.

 

In a Florida medical malpractice case recently filed by The Leto Law Firm against a doctor in Lake County, Florida, we allege that a surgeon’s actions while performing hip replacement surgery caused serious and permanent injuries to our client, John Goldstein.  John Goldstein is legally married to man by the name of Sheldon Goldstein.  John and Sheldon were one of the first same-sex couples to enter into a legal marriage in Massachusetts when the state legalized same-sex marriage.  As a result of their legally recognized marriage, we assert that Sheldon should be entitled to the very same rights that any other spouse would be entitled to when their spouse is injured or killed due to someone else’s negligence.

 

However, despite the existence of a marriage license from one of the 50 United States of America, we anticipate that the defense will challenge Sheldon’s legal entitlement to collect for the loss of support and services of his husband.  Why would the defense challenge Sheldon’s legal rights as John’s husband?  The reason is the Defense of Marriage Act, otherwise known as DOMA.  DOMA was enacted under President Clinton and it defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman.  The effect of DOMA is that states, like Florida, are not required to recognize same-sex marriage even if that marriage was legally entered into in a sister state.   Because Florida does not recognize same-sex marriage, it will be very difficult for Sheldon to convince the Court that DOMA’s unconstitutionality should allow his claim to proceed.

 

John and Sheldon’s case is one in a long line of challenges to DOMA.  Historically, most cases challenging DOMA have been unsuccessful.  In Florida, in the case of Wilson v Ake, a same-sex couple sued the Attorney General of the United States, seeking to have DOMA overturned as unconstitutional under the Full Faith and Credit Clause and the Due Process Clause of the Constitution.  The Middle District dismissed the couple’s claim in 2005, holding that the right to marry a person of the same sex was not a fundamental right and that DOMA was not unconstitutional.

 

That was 2005.  Since that time, the federal courts have shown a trend away from DOMA, instead opting to provide same-sex couples with rights if they are legally married.  Gill v. Office of Personnel Management which held that DOMA violated the core constitutional principles of Equal Protection; Golinski v.  U.S. Office of Personnel Management which held that the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman did not satisfy the heightened level of scrutiny provided by the Equal Protection Clause; and Windsor v. U.S. which held that DOMA violated the Equal Protection Clause.

 

Now that there is an apparent conflict between the federal courts and DOMA, the United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear argument as to the constitutionality of DOMA.  Oral argument is set for March 27, 2013 which means that before the end of this year, the U.S. Supreme Court will determine whether DOMA can remain on the books or whether states need to begin recognizing marriages of sister states.

 

In our case, John and Sheldon Goldstein are legally married under the laws of the State of Massachusetts.  Sheldon is seeking to enforce his rights as John’s husband by making a claim for damages in John’s Florida medical malpractice case.  While John and Sheldon know that the battle to be treated equally in Florida is an uphill battle, they believe it is a civil rights battle that must be fought.    As recently as 1967, this country did not force states to recognize interracial marriage.  It was not until the decision in Loving v. Virginia that the United States Supreme Court overturned the ban on interracial marriage.  Predicated on similar logic, John and Sheldon are hopeful that their case will be one of many that will successfully challenge DOMA and provide equal rights and protection to all people that choose to marry.  As was so eloquently stated by the Court in Loving v Virginia, “the freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men” and to deny this right is “directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the 14th Amendment.”

 

The Leto Law Firm is a Miami medical malpractice law firm that represents victims of medical malpractice, personal injury, wrongful death and traumatic brain injury throughout the State of Florida.