TNT Featured in International Sinkhole Documentary

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TNT Attorneys featured in Sinkhole Documentarty

Cameraman Stefan Spoo, host Stefan Goedde and Dr. Jon Arthur, Director Geological Survey Florida


TAMPA, Fla., Sept. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — When Germany-based documentary filmmakers Jenny Roller-Spoo and Stefan Spoosearched for the one of the most experienced sinkhole firms in Florida for their documentary, they contacted Thomas Nutter Thomas(TNT) Attorneys in Tampa.

The Munich-based couple has a combined 30 years of Filmmaking experience and created Ghostcat Mediaproductions to cover scientific news documentaries for media outlets all over the world. This documentary, titled “Sinkholes – what happens beneath our feet?” will deliver a very broad perspective on interdisciplinary applications of sinkhole science between geologists, engineers, and geographers who study how and where sinkholes form and interact with engineers and planners, who apply this information to building and maintaining society’s infrastructure while protecting our environment.

Roller-Spoo said, “We researched a number of Florida-based law firms that specialize in sinkhole litigation and TNT was at the top of the list. They worked with us to secure an interview and even the opportunity to sit down with one of their current clients. We are very appreciative of their willingness to be part of our documentary… and their broad knowledge really elevated our perspective during filming.”

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), sinkholes are caused when underground water washes away soft rocks like limestone, carbonate rock and salt beds. As the rock or salt are worn away, it leaves behind a cavern under the Earth. When the cavern gets too big, the ground above it collapses, pulling a (usually) circular section of the Earth’s “crust” with it. The USGS calls areas like this “karst terrain.” About 20 percent of U.S. land is susceptible to sinkholes. The most damage from sinkholes tends to occur in Florida, Texas, Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania.

“Additionally, we interviewed Dr. Jon Arthur, Director of the Florida Geological Survey (FGS) and visited a cave in the Florida Caverns State Park in Marianna with him to get a better impression how sinkholes are currently forming. And we accompanied a sinkhole investigation with Palm Harbor-based N.S. Nettles and Associates at a private house near Tampa. The team around Sandy Nettles and Geologist Bret Jarrett showed us methods that are used to investigate sinkhole activities.”

Rick Nutter, a TNT Shareholder and Sinkhole Attorney was interviewed by Roller-Spoo and her crew last week at the home of Craig and Teresa Streeter in New Port Richey; one of TNT’s current clients dealing with a sinkhole claim.

“Dealing with the sinkhole issue at our house has been difficult.  We have four children that live in the home, and the safety concerns due to the sinkhole opening up in our yard just feet from our kitchen have been significant.  We are fortunate that we have insurance coverage that will allow us to repair the sinkhole, but the experience has been trying to say the least,” Craig Streeter said.

Nutter said, “In Florida, sinkholes can be extremely dangerous and many people don’t know this, but sinkholes on private property are the responsibility of the property owner. In some cases their insurance company may cover evaluation and repair of the sinkhole. Actual coverage may vary according to circumstances and insurance company policy. Either way, if you’re a sinkhole victim, it’s very disruptive; questions are abundant in addition to various types of tests and additional expenses. Handling a sinkhole claim on your own is problematic at best and outright impossible at worst.”

According to Tampa-based WFLA 8 News, Sinkholes have been hot topic recently after a massive hole re-opened in mid-August at the site of the 2013 Seffner sinkhole that swallowed and killed resident Jeffrey Bush as he slept in his bedroom. Five other family members were in the house but escaped unharmed. Bush’s brother, Jeremy, jumped into the hole to try to help, but he had to be rescued himself by a sheriff’s deputy. Bush’s body was never recovered. Authorities leveled the sinkhole site demolishing Bush’s home and two nearby houses.

“Sinkholes are frightening but also a fascinating phenomenon. How do they form, where do they occur? How stable is the ground we are walking on and what do we know about it? In this documentary we will shine a light on different threats that wait for us,” said Roller-Spoo.”

Tampa Bay has seen a significant increase in incoming productions of films, documentaries and TV pilots in the past year as well. Dale Gordon, the Executive Director of Film Tampa Bay said, “We have actually seen an influx of sinkhole documentaries in the past year and this topic is definitely generating some serious feedback from Floridians who want to know more and understand some of the serious risks that follow sinkholes. Although the subject matter is a little too close to home, we were delighted to host Munich-basedJenny Roller-Spoo and her entire film crew and we look forward to seeing the completed documentary.”

In addition to the crew, German TV Presenter and Journalist Stefan Godde accompanied the production. Godde is the host of “Galileo”, a popular scientific TV broadcast, which airs daily on Pro Sieben, a leading TV station owned by ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG,Germany’s second largest privately owned television company. This documentary will air at the end of 2015 as part of the series called “Galileo Spezial” (or Special).