» Joyce and Reyes Personal Injury Attorney Praises $15 Million Verdict in Miami Wrongful Death Case

Joyce and Reyes Personal Injury Attorney Praises $15 Million Verdict in Miami Wrongful Death Case

Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) January 27, 2014 – A Miami-Dade County jury awarded $15 million to the parents of a victim of a drunk-driving crash.

More than two years after Carlos Lacayo allegedly killed five pedestrians while driving drunk, his whereabouts remain unknown.

But on December 12, 2013, a civil jury awarded a large sum in a wrongful death suit brought by the family of victim Emerson Kastenholz.

“It is good to see a jury take such a strong stand against the defendant’s alleged actions,” said Tampa personal injury attorney Robert Joyce, who is not involved in the case. “Drunk driving must not be tolerated by law enforcement or juries.”

According to court documents, Lacayo ran into a crowd of pedestrians on the shoulder of Interstate 95 in Miami in the pre-dawn hours of March 5, 2011. Minutes earlier, the victims had been involved in a series of minor auto accidents that began when one driver clipped a disabled vehicle parked in the emergency lane. The motorists were waiting for police to arrive when Lacayo allegedly veered from the express lane and plowed his mother’s Honda sedan into them.

Four victims died instantly: Evidia Rodriguez, 57; Antuan Fernandez Perez, 22; Mirtha Quiepo, 48; and Kastenholz, 23. A fifth, Ana Belkis Gomez, 38, died at Jackson Memorial Hospital five days later.

Kastenholz had recently graduated from the University of Miami and planned to attend graduate school.

Court documents say Lacayo’s blood alcohol content — after being admitted to the hospital some four hours after the crash — was still 0.127 percent, well over the legal limit of 0.08 percent. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, he admitted that he had been drinking earlier that night.

Lacayo was later charged with five counts of vehicular homicide and DUI manslaughter, but he was already on the run. Lacayo remains a fugitive. If arrested and convicted on all charges, he faces a prison sentence of up to 75 years.

Michael and Kathleen Kastenholz, Emerson’s parents, each testified about the ways their son’s death has affected them. Lacayo’s insurance company hired an attorney to represent him. His mother testified that she has no knowledge of his whereabouts.

The jury awarded $6 million to Michael Kastenholz and $9 million to Kathleen Kastenholz.

Joyce and Reyes Law Firm, P.A.
307 S Hyde Park Ave
Tampa, FL 33606
Call: 813.251.2007


View Larger Map

  • High-Tech Safety Systems Promise to Cut Auto Accident Rates
    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently announced a plan to advance vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technology. The technology would enhance safety by enabling vehicles’ onboard computers to communicate with each other in order to help drivers avoid collisions. The systems give drivers visible and audible warning signals when they perceive threats based on data [...]
  • Florida pill mill doctor could face 350-year prison sentence
    A South Florida doctor faces a maximum sentence of 350 years for his role in a Pompano Beach “pill mill.” A jury in Broward County convicted Dr. Thomas Rodenberg, 54, of 14 criminal charges. These included trafficking of oxycodone (a narcotic painkiller), racketeering, illegal delivery of controlled substances and conspiracy. In 2012, the U.S. Drug [...]
  • NFL and GE partner to award brain injury research grants
    The National Football League (NFL) has taken a lot of heat over its alleged lack of safeguards to prevent and mitigate brain injury in its players. A number of former players, suffering from a range of neurological symptoms, have filed lawsuits against the league. Now, the NFL is taking the initiative to advance the science [...]
  • NTSB Issues Recommendations for Eliminating Substance-Impaired Driving
    Each year, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) releases a list of their top ten advocacy and legislative priorities for increasing transportation safety in the United States. They call it their “Most Wanted” list, and for 2014, one of the items is the elimination of substance-impaired driving. According to the NTSB, 90 percent of all [...]
  • Subcompact Car Crash Tests Yield Sobering Results
    With fuel prices rising, subcompact cars, or “minicars,” are becoming more popular, and new models are introduced regularly. But how do those very small and very light vehicles fare in auto accidents? According to a recent report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), perhaps not so well. The IIHS recently subjected 11 popular [...]

See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: , , , , ,



Get headlines from Law Firm Newswire sent right to your inbox.

* indicates required