Facebook LIVE has Proven to be Fatal for some Users

In the last few weeks two incidents have happened where drivers that were under the influence, got on Facebook LIVE to showoff to their ‘friends.’ In one of the events, a Florida man was on a mission to mow over beach goers in his car while driving drunk. The man was even drinking during the incident. During the Facebook LIVE stream, you could see police vehicles chasing him as he ran over beach chairs and swerved toward people. Luckily, the suspect was apprehended and no one was harmed.

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In the second incident, a California woman was driving under the influence, while she was fidgeting with her phone, she runs something over while on Facebook LIVE. The woman jumps out of the car and finds that she had run over her sister, killing her. It is clear that the driver was under the influence because she continues to stream her trying to wake her sister up and saying “I know I’m going to jail, I did it, RIP.” The video is extremely graphic, so if you do come across it, be aware. Check out the article here.


The importance of driving sober cannot be stressed enough. Although the trend of using Facebook LIVE for everyday events seems like a good idea, it DOES NOT make it okay to put yours or the lives of others at risk for ‘likes.’

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Do You Have the Jury on Your Side? Here are the facts about Burden of Proof!



The reality is, it is extremely difficult for a plaintiff to prevail at trial. Your attorney will likely tell you, that, as a plaintiff, you have the burden of proving three elements in order for a jury to even consider awarding you damages. Think of it as a three-legged stool. If any one of the legs fail, the stool falls over and your case will most certainly fail. Those three elements are as follows:

Liability: The plaintiff must prove that the defendant was negligent or operated below a reasonable standard of care or otherwise committed wrongful behavior leading to plaintiff’s injuries.

Damages: Even once the plaintiff has proved the defendant was negligent, the plaintiff must also prove she has suffered injuries, damages or losses. For example, if a plaintiff were to say that a driver was negligently swerving all over the road and came within inches of striking the pedestrian plaintiff, there would rightfully be no case, because the plaintiff escaped injury and suffered no damages, despite the extreme negligence of the defendant.

Causation: Let’s assume you have proved liability and damages. Simply stated, causation is the link the plaintiff must prove connecting liability to damages. For example, if the plaintiff were to claim she suffered chronic back pain following an injury caused by the negligence of the defendant, but the plaintiff’s medical history indicated repeated complaints and treatment for chronic back pain before this incident, the defense would have a good argument that the plaintiff failed to meet her burden of proof regarding causation. This is not an automatic game loser for the plaintiff, but it does make her case more difficult for obvious reasons.


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Business Builder Grants awarded to four Operation Startup members

The organizational team at Operation Startup is a unique blend of military, business and education experiences folded into dynamic personalities with tireless devotion to Veterans. Utilizing their technical skills and business acumen, this team tries to move the unmovable for every Veteran member of Operation Startup.

Check out Fulfill Your Destiny’s Grants for Start-up Members here!

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MADD Spotlight – Voices of Victims: Air Force Service Member Karen Mertes

Last week, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), wrote a spotlight on drunk driver victim, Karen Mertes, and told her story of recovery and triumph after her accident.

Here is a snippet of the MAAD spotlight of Karen Mertes —

“February 7, 2007 was the day that forever changed Karen Mertes’ life path. Karen, a Lieutenant Colonel serving in the United States Air Force, was driving the speed limit on the interstate when she was struck from behind by a drunk driver traveling over 100 mph.

He had a blood alcohol level of nearly three times the legal limit and the crash resulted in both vehicles being totaled. The axle in Karen’s car snapped in half, and her vehicle’s undercarriage dragged creating sparks on the interstate for several hundreds of feet.”

Read the rest of Karen’s MADD spotlight here!

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A few photos and kind words from Karen Mertes’ Commencement Address to South University!

Karen Mertes always jumps at the chance to inspire groups with her story. She recently spoke at South University in Tampa to the graduating class. Here is a snippet from the letter that Campus President James McCoy sent her —
“Your story of overcoming life’s challenges was an incredible message to our graduates, who will all face challenges/adversity in the years ahead. Additionally, your message was a source of inspiration to so many and provided a road map of how we all should promote ourselves.”

Stage full on
Karen R. Mertes turned a life altering tragedy into a life purpose with her organization, Fulfill Your Destiny.  Karen is a Lieutenant Colonel (Ret) from our United States Air Force, serving as the Squadron Commander in two back-to-back command tours as well as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of a $169 million dollar budget at an overseas base.

karen Mertes AuthorIn 2007, Karen’s car was struck by a drunk driver traveling over 100 mph on I-75 resulting in Karen suffering a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).  Facing the consequences of this life-changing injury, this would be the genesis which led her to create Fulfill Your Destiny.  Its signature program awards ‘Business Builder Grants’ to local entrepreneurs desiring to take their businesses to the next level.


Karen is a highly regarded Professional Speaker; Award Winning, Best Selling Author; Certified Entrepreneur, Leadership and Business Consultant all to benefit Fulfill Your Destiny. Karen is the creator of Fulfill Your Destiny’s annual premiere event, Spring Chari-Tea held each year in March.


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Is My Career Over Because of my TBI?

After suffering an injury from a car accident, however mild or severe it may be, you must learn how to live life with your injury. It is important to remember that no matter how frustrated you become, some of these effects will only be temporary. Although, you may need to learn a ‘new normal.’


Initially, you may experience a period of denial where you’re unable to realistically assess what could be your reduced performance levels. Given my injury, I was no longer able to achieve my pre-injury performance where I had consistently exceeded expectations.

Unfortunately, depending on the severity of how your injury may impact your work performance, it could pose a threat to your case. The defense will use whatever new challenges you face at work as a litigation advantage.

You may be placed in a “no-win” situation. If you cannot return to work, his [the defense attorney] bargaining position has improved due to your lack of limited resources to live on. Also, his experts will likely opine you are a malingerer. If you do return to work, even under duress and in pain, he will argue you did not suffer economic damages as you continued to be “employable” post-injury.”

For those who are interested in owning Amazon’s Best Seller, “Plaintiff 101” as a valuable resource:

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Above quote excerpted from Plaintiff 101: The Black Book of Inside Information Your Lawyer Will Want You To Know.

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Happy Independence Day!

Thankful for all of those who have and are serving for our country!

Have a happy and SAFE 4th of July!

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