Monthly Archives:' June 2013

Prominent Trial Attorney Willie Gary and Team File $25 Million Lawsuit against Como Oil and Propane Company on behalf of Martin County Man who Suffered Severe Injuries and Subsequently Died when a Propane Tank Exploded

STUART, FL- Attorneys Willie Gary and Sekou Gary, partners in the Stuart, Florida-based law firm of Gary, Williams, Parenti, Watson and Gary, P.L. announced today that a $25 million lawsuit was filed in the wrongful death case of 46year-old Richard Sheltra. The case was filed on behalf of the victim’s wife and family in Martin County Circuit Court (case # 13001022CAAXMX).

Sheltra, at the time of the incident, was contracted by Como Oil Company to recycle empty propane tanks.  Sheltra was operating a forklift to transport a propane tank, when the propane tank suddenly exploded causing him to be violently knocked on the ground. Sheltra sustained severe burns and other significant injuries and was transported to Jackson Memorial Burn Center in Miami, Florida where doctors fought for nearly a week and half to save his life. Richard Sheltra died June 9, 2012 as a result of the injuries sustained in the propane tank explosion.

The lawsuit contends that the propane tank that caused the explosion was defective and/or still contained dangerous propane. Furthermore, the suit states that unbeknownst to the victim, Como Oil Company failed to burn off the excess propane, failed to de-valve the tank, and/or failed to allow excess propane to dissolve.  The lawsuit alleges that as a direct result of Como Oil Company’s negligence, carelessness, and recklessness, Richard Sheltra suffered horrific burn injuries and acute shock which ultimately resulted in his death.

In addition, Como Oil Company transported the propane tanks to the victim’s place of business for recycling and contrary to Florida law, the driver of the transport was not properly licensed to haul flammable materials.  Como Oil Company failed to follow its own procedures in receiving and delivering the tank for recycling.

“Richard Sheltra was a hard-working man who took his job very seriously,” commented Gary. “It was Como Oil Company’s duty to properly follow its own safety guidelines, as well as state and federal guidelines. Sadly, because of their negligence, and because they cut corners, my client unnecessarily lost his life. Moreover Como Oil was careless, reckless and negligent and we intend to hold them accountable for their actions,” Gary continued.

Gary is no stranger to seeking justice. Gary and his legal team are known for taking on some of the nation’s most powerful corporate giants, including the funeral industry. In 1995, a jury awarded Gary and his legal team a record-breaking, half-billion dollars against one of the world’s largest funeral chains, The Loewen Group. In addition, Gary is noted for winning a $240 million jury verdict in Orange County against the Walt Disney Corporation for his clients who alleged that Disney stole their idea for a sports theme park. In 2001, a jury awarded Gary a $139.6 million verdict for the Maris Distributing Company against Anheuser Busch.

Prominent Attorney Willie Gary Delivers Keynote Address to University of Fort Lauderdale’s Graduating Class of 2013

Ft. Lauderdale, FL—Trial attorney Willie E. Gary recently visited the campus of the University of Fort Lauderdale in Lauderhill, Florida to serve as the keynote speaker for the 2013 Commencement Exercises.  Gary addressed parents, relatives, faculty, administration and most importantly, the graduates on the topic of preparing to be future leaders and ambassadors of humanity and goodwill.

Gary spoke at the University of Fort Lauderdale to an attentive audience of nearly 500, where 25 of the best and brightest graduates received various college degrees.  Gary praised the graduates for achieving academic excellence and challenged them to continue to set goals, dream big and support their alma mater.  Gary also encouraged the graduates to strive for the very best, to lead by example, to become role models and to keep God first.

During his commencement address, Gary also recognized the numerous achievements attained by University of Fort Lauderdale under the leadership of the University’s founder and president, Bishop Henry Fernandez.  Gary commended Dr. Fernandez for his unwavering commitment to the University and for his noteworthy progress in leading the University to the brink of becoming fully accredited.

“Let me take the opportunity to say how proud I am of these graduates,” said Gary.  “These students have worked hard and have no doubt gotten an unparalleled breadth of knowledge,” said Gary.  “At the same time, I think it is necessary that we applaud the remarkable work of Dr. Henry Fernandez as president.  Dr. Fernandez saw the need to train and prepare people to become leaders.  With this in mind, he founded University of Fort Lauderdale and has since worked tirelessly to equip students with the tools and resources necessary to become successful,” continued Gary.

The University of Fort Lauderdale was founded in 1995 as a non-denominational Christian institution of higher learning.  The commitment was to establish an institution of higher education in South Florida to access the world, advance Christian education and promote leadership in both secular and non-secular areas.

Trial Attorney Willie Gary Delivers Commencement Address to Florida A&M University College of Law 9th Annual Hooding Ceremony

Orlando, FL—Trial attorney Willie E. Gary recently visited the campus of Florida A&M University School of Law in Orlando, Florida to serve as the keynote speaker for the 2013 Commencement Exercises.  Gary addressed parents, relatives, faculty, administration and most importantly, the graduating law students on the topic of preparing themselves for life outside of the classroom and inside of the courtroom.

Gary spoke to an attentive audience of nearly 3,000 people where 191 of the best and brightest future lawyers received their hard-earned law degree.  Gary praised the graduates for achieving academic excellence and challenged them to continue to set goals, dream big and support their alma mater.  Gary also encouraged the graduates to strive for the very best in life, to lead by example and to become role models. Students screamed from their seats when Gary asked the question: “Are there any proud Rattlers in this house today?”

“I am so proud of these graduates,” said Gary.  “Florida A&M University College of Law has impressed upon these young men and women the special responsibility that comes along with a law degree.  I am honored that I was selected to come and share a few words with 191 remarkable graduates.  It is my hope that these graduates will take what they have learned throughout life, specifically over the last three years, and apply it as they enter the legal arena.  There is no question in my mind that these future lawyers will become trailblazers and trendsetters,” continued Gary.

Gary, who is best known in legal circles as “The Giant Killer,” is noted for taking on some of America’s most powerful companies–winning billions of dollars in verdicts and settlements on behalf of his clients.  Known for his philanthropic endeavors, he and his wife, Gloria Gary, founded The Gary Foundation, which provides college scholarships to at-risk students who wish to attend college. The Gary’s have donated millions of dollars to help Historically Black Colleges and Universities – including $10 million to their alma mater Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina.