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
View Larger Map
- Pinellas Sheriff’s Office settles wrongful death lawsuit for Over One Million Dollars
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office has paid $1.15 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit with the estate of a mentally ill woman who died in the Pinellas County jail after refusing medicine and food. The payment has settled all state and federal claims against the jail and its employees. Michael DeGraw filed suit over […]
- Patients ER Visits for Brain Injuries Increase
According to a new medical report, visits to hospital emergency rooms for brain injuries have increased in recent years. The report, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, studied emergency department visits from a nationwide sample of hospitals from 2006 to 2010. During that period, the number of total emergency room visits grew […]
- Pill Mill Doctor in Florida Sentenced to 18 Years Imprisonment
State authorities have announced that a South Florida doctor has received an 18 year prison sentence for his participation in a “pill mill” scheme. Attorney General Pam Bondi said that the Broward County Sheriff’s Office collaborated with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration to bring the “dangerous drug dealer” to justice. Dr. Thomas Rodenberg was found […]
- Study Shows Teenage Brain Injuries Have Lasting Negative Effects
The specific long-lasting effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI) – whether due to accidents, high-impact sports or other causes – are difficult to pin down. From concussion-related lawsuits brought against the National Football League, specialists know that TBI is often correlated with depression, dementia and cognitive impairment. Scientific research into the field is complex and, […]
- Uber, Lyft Come to Tampa, but Insurance and Liability Questions Are Sure to Follow
Lyft and Uber, two services that provide access to vehicles for hire via smartphone apps, recently began operating in Tampa. This is despite staunch opposition from industry and regulators. Taxi and limo operators want the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission to ticket the companies’ drivers for what they say are violations of local laws. Meanwhile, […]