From California to Florida to Disability because of Gulf Breeze Negligence
You would think a city owned park would be safe because its owned by city government, but my life turned into a nightmare after I visited a park in Gulf Breeze, Florida. Many people I've spoken to over the years since agree that the fact the park was owned by Gulf Breeze city government they would normally feel a sense of security knowing the park equipment like swings will be maintained for safe use. In fact, many people have said they don't think whether or not the swings in a park are safe, they just use them because they're there for that purpose. Most public park swings have enormous chains holding them up and that alone give swings some level of trust. The fact that Gulf Breeze city government put it there, some people just trust because and I was one of those people. That was a very BIG mistake!
This is a story of how Gulf Breeze city government ignored unsafe conditions in the city's parks, I came along, a new resident of Gulf Breeze and within a few short weeks I'd never be able to run again. I became severely injured then 6 months later became homeless which would eventually last for years.
Due to immunity law in Florida Gulf Breeze city government escaped liability of the accident they caused
It was a very hot day in August and I just finished my daily run. I was falling in love with Gulf Breeze Proper since moving there weeks earlier. I had two really big kidney stones which became stuck on the way out over the course of many years building in my body. As a result my first priority became that of needing to find my next job hopefully with insurance to take care of the stones which were acting as a dam in my body. I looked for a job by day and ran in the late afternoon to keep in shape.
Things were going pretty well, I'd found a job nearby and was hopeful they would hire me soon. One day after my run I stopped by McClure Park. I remember thinking that if I used one of the swings it would create a breeze on my skin helping me cool down from my run. Once on the swing my immediate thought was WOW, I hadn't been on a swing since I was a child and it was pretty fun.
While swinging high and fast, all of a sudden my body slammed into the ground.
Apparently the chain on the swing broke because it was worn down like that of the park swing pictured above due to the lack of a safety inspection program by the city. The impact of hitting the ground was so traumatizing I remember thinking I'll never walk again. Thoughts of living in a wheelchair for the rest of my life came to mind as I lay there screaming. This was not part of my plans for my life and it was very troubling to say the least. My life changed in an instant because the city I thought I loved apparently didn't take care of their parks.
I reached in my pocket and called 911 on my cell phone but didn't know where I was since I'd just recently moved there. The 911 operator tracked my cell phone to the exact spot (unlike today where they miss you by a mile) and told me help was on the way. Before long I was surrounded by medical personnel and flashing lights. I was loaded into an ambulance and that was the last thing I remembered due to the amount of drugs they pumped into my body. After I got out of the hospital with doctors orders to follow up with an orthopedic surgeon I had to start trying to figure out how that would be possible since I didn't have insurance.
My new job called me the days following the accident and I had no choice but to decline the new offer of employment because I was too hurt to work. I called city hall in Gulf Breeze to see if they would help me since where I was hurt was a public park owned by the city. Days would pass and the city manager Edwin "Buz" Eddy would not return my calls. I was in pretty bad shape and I felt so betrayed by the place I called my new home. It wasn't supposed to go like this and I didn't know what I was going to do.
Eventually reality sat in and I realized Gulf Breeze city government was not going to help me. Being poor and hurt was no position to be in; that I can tell you. Think of being in a really bad car accident and no one will help you and you now have to figure out how to survive while hurt; your life becomes very limited all of a sudden because you can't do the things you would normally do. The fact is, I'd been better off if it had been a car accident because when Gulf Breeze city government is the one at fault they've been granted a little something called Immunity from liability and its in the law books down in good ole Florida.
I had no choice but to start calling lawyers in the phone book. My first call was to Michles and Booth attorney at law. The attorney I spoke to told me he was going to help me but he first asked me if I had the part of the chain that broke off the swing. I said I did not have it and the attorney told me we needed the broken chain link as evidence to prove the swing chain broke, otherwise he couldn't help me.
He asked where the accident happened and I told him McClure Park in Gulf Breeze Proper. He told me he would have his private investigator go there first thing in the morning and look for the broken chain link with a metal detector. Later he contacted me and said his guy couldn't find anything and as a result he wasn't able to help me. I continued to call lawyers in the phone book but they kept telling me how in Florida there are laws that say you can't sue a city because they had immunity from liability and it was law of this land we call Florida. Every lawyer I called told me this and wished me luck.
What I found out about the law in Florida pertaining to injuries sustained in public parks
Gulf Breeze city government was not required by law to maintain the city's public playgrounds for safety since according to state law they're not liable for your injuries if a worn out Gulf Breeze city government owned swing breaks. However I did find out that there are recommendations and guidelines for Gulf Breeze city government to follow but they were not specifically required by law to follow them, so they chose not to. Does this sound like a safe place for families to go on VACATION or even raise a family?
This site is dedicated to shed light on an untold true story of collusion between Gulf Breeze city government and the city's insurance company Florida League of Cities
It's also to bring awareness on how laws in Florida were established giving city government immunity and one day I hope these laws can change
It's my opinion Gulf Breeze city government should of corrected these dangerous conditions after I was hurt but for some reason they didn't and nearly a year later swings in local parks were still ready to break according to this video that was made. It may have been because Gulf Breeze city government was too busy issuing municipal bonds making themselves a lot of money. In fact, see this article of how between 2007-2012 the city raked in $64 million in fees by issuing municipal bonds yet their swings were breaking and injuring people. Whatever their reasons, the laws in Florida must change bringing accountability to cities who leave public parks in these conditions the way Gulf Breeze city government did. The laws the Florida senate passed give cities in Florida a free pass to hurt people and get away with it and that must CHANGE. Continue Reading
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Learn more about the accident caused by the negligence of Gulf Breeze Florida. Playgrounds were left in dangerous conditions to.......