Memorial Weekend Fraught with Violence in Myrtle Beach

The Myrtle Beach Police Department was busy this Memorial Day Weekend. Not only did they have to handle the hordes of visitors who came to the city for the Atlantic Beach Bikefest Rally, they also had to investigate the 8 shooting incidents that took place during a 48 hour time span.

According to Myrtle Beach Chief Police Warren Gall, this Memorial Weekend represented the most violent span of days he’s ever experienced as a law enforcement official.

2015522152222-5-hv-gttg6-avaIt’s the belief of City Spokesman Mark Kruea that the reason for the intense violence was the sheer number of people who were in town for the Rally. “The rallies, because of their size and length, have traditionally resulted in higher crime and/or fatality numbers during the three weeks in May when they occur, and that’s been the case since the mid-1990s. That’s one of the major reasons the city said ‘no thanks’ to the huge rallies back in 2009, but as you can see, turning the ship around takes a while,”

The first reported shooting took place early Saturday morning near 7th Avenue North and Ocean Boul. Officers who were in the area, approached a vehicle that held four people and saw a weapon on the floorboards. The man who claimed ownership of the weapons was arrested and charged with weapons law violations.

The next incident occurred on Ocean Boulevard near 7th Avenue North. The victims were a man and a woman. She sustained a bullet wound to the chin, while his shoulder was shot. No suspects were arrested.

555e5da2c6c5a.imageWhen the responded to a call about gun shots being fired at Fountainbleau Inn on Flagg Street and 7th Avenue North, officer found a victim who’d been shot in the leg, but were unable to convince the victim to answer any questions that would lead to the arrest of the shooter.

A Polynesian Hotel security guard contacted the police after he heard gunshots in one of the hotel rooms. Witnesses provided the police with a description of the alleged shooter who fled the hotel by jumping out a window and onto a first floor awning.

When police responded to a report of gunshots on Ocean Boulevard near Sixth Avenue South, they found a single victim who’d been shot multiple times.

Bullet_1.jpg5ca02a89-d672-4a19-9ddd-931e2e24910cLargeThree people were reported dead while another one was treated for gunshot wounds following a fight and shooting that took place at Bermuda Sands Motel. Police are looking for two suspects who fled the hotel before the police were able to reach the scene.

A call to 606 North Kings Highway involved four people who were the victims of an armed robbery.

The final incident took place at 1600 South Ocean Boulevard. The incident involved two individuals who sustained bullet wounds and had to be brought to the hospital for treatment.

“I’m horrified by the events that took place over what should have been a fun weekend,” said Joseph Sandefur, managing partner of a top personal injury firm with an office headquartered in Myrtle Beach. “If the city wants to continue hosting such large events, they need to look into ways of doing so that don’t involve people getting hurt.”

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Medical Staff on Cruise Ships Could Now Face Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals made a ruling that now makes it possible for cruise line medical staff to be named as defendants in medical malpractice suits.

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The death of retired New York City policeman, Pasquale Vaglio, was the catalyst that brought this particular issue to the civil court system.

Vaglio was 82 years old when he decided to take a cruise and do some sightseeing in Bermuda. Shortly after the ship, Royal Caribbean’s “Explorer of the Seas,” set sail, Vaglio had an accident that resulted in him striking his head. He sought out the ship’s nurse who did a quick examination during which she made note of both a scrape and a bump on his head. She than proceeded to send him to his cabin with orders to rest.

She should have made arrangements to run a diagnostic scan. It turned out that this was terrible advice. Unbeknownst to the nurse, Vaglio’s injury was actually a concussion, a condition that would quickly result in his death.

Until now, it would have been impossible for Vaglio’s family to win a medical malpractice lawsuit against the ship’s medical staff despite their misdiagnosis which resulted in a wrongful death because of exemptions, often referred to as Barbetta, created in earlier court cases, some of which happened over one hundred years ago.

Whenever the issues of medical malpractice was raised, cruise ship lines have always maintained that passengers can’t reasonably expect to receive the same type of medical treatment while on the cruise that they’d receive at home. The other issue is that the way the cruise ship lines manage their medical staff means that their medical team aren’t employees but actually private contractors and therefore not under the direct control of the cruise ship.


The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has now made a ruling that means the old Barbetta exemptions are no longer valid and that the medical staff on the ship can be held accountable fr their actions.

Circuit Judge Stanley Marcus explained the rationale behind the decision. “We can discern no sound reason in law to carve out a special exemption for all acts of onboard medical negligence. Much has changed in the quarter-century since Barbetta.”

Pasquale Vaglio’s family feels the court made the right decision.

20740758-large (1)“What we didn’t realize until this happened was that they have zero liability,” Pasquale’s son, Joseph Vaglio, a New York pharmacist, said. “There is no way they should be getting away with this. They are making money hand over fist. Part of their cost of doing business should be to have a competent medical staff.”

Joe and Martin managing partner of The Law Firm with an office headquartered in South Carolina feels the Court of Appeal made the right decision. “It’s ludicrous that medical professionals shouldn’t be held responsible for their actions and mistakes. They’re trained professionals. If they can’t do their job correctly even when they’re in a large, fully stocked ship than they probably should reconsider their career choices.”

When a doctor makes a mistake in diagnosis or treatment, it raises a number of concerns, first and foremost being the well-being of the patient and the impact of the error on his or her condition. Eventually, the incident may raise a different sort of red flag.

If one of your loved ones suffered a wrongful death as the result of a medical mistake, contact us and learn more about the legal options available to you.



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