» 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

  • Family of retired sailor left in coma files medical malpractice lawsuit against naval hospital
    A Florida medical malpractice lawsuit has been filed by the family of a retired sailor, claiming that he was left in a coma after what was supposed to be a routine diagnostic procedure. On July 8, 2014, Retired Navy Chief Engineman Shon Hollis was supposed to undergo a colonoscopy and endoscopy at Naval Hospital, Jacksonville, […]
  • Florida NASCAR crash leads to traumatic brain injury for fan
    A NASCAR fan who was struck by shrapnel after a crash at Daytona International Speedway in Florida is pursuing legal remedies for his traumatic brain injury. On the last lap of the 2013 race, a collision sent Kyle Larson’s No. 32 car flying, and shrapnel was hurled into the stands, injuring fans. Allen Davis was […]
  • Florida appeals court rules against some medical malpractice damages caps
    In a victory for the rights of injured people, a Florida appeals court ruled that limits on certain damages for pain and suffering in personal injury cases are unconstitutional. In 2003, the Florida legislature set limits of $500,000 in “non-economic damages,” such as damages for pain and suffering, in personal injury cases. In 2014, the […]
  • Administration proposes new rules to help prevent nursing home abuse
    The Obama administration has proposed modernizing federal safety rules that nursing homes must abide by in order to receive Medicaid and Medicare payments. Sylvia Burwell, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, said that the proposed changes set high standards for safety and quality in nursing homes. The proposals were announced as part of the […]
  • Father and son hit by boat propeller settle brain injury lawsuit for $12 million
    A father and son who were seriously injured when a boat backed over them while they were scuba diving have settled their lawsuit against the scuba diving center for $12 million. Jared Adkins and his son settled the lawsuit against the Florida Keys Dive Center in Tavernier, after the dive center initially argued that it […]

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

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

* indicates required