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
- Florida man sentenced in pill mill case
A Florida man was sentenced to 44 months in prison and three years of supervised release for unlawfully operating a pill mill in Georgia that made over $1.8 million. Marc Frazier was also ordered to give up assets of more than $500,000 from the pill mill. The “pain management clinic” known as Apex Health & […]
- Florida appeals court sides with Tampa General Hospital in medical malpractice case
An appeals court upheld a ruling shielding Tampa General Hospital from potential medical malpractice liability in a case over a patient who died during surgery. The 2nd District Court of Appeal upheld a ruling by a circuit judge granting summary judgment to Tampa General Hospital. The appeals court agreed with the judge on the central […]
- Two Florida doctors to begin serving pill mill sentences
Two Florida doctors must begin serving their prison sentences in October, three years after their convictions on money laundering charges related to a chain of Florida pill mills, a federal judge ruled. Cynthia Cadet must turn herself in to begin serving a 6 1/2 year sentence on Oct. 3, while Joseph Castronuovo was given until […]
- Florida Supreme Court Sets Arguments in Medical Malpractice Case
The Florida Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments in December on a constitutional challenge to a 2013 medical malpractice law. The Justices agreed to take up the issue of “ex parte communications” in medical malpractice cases. In a case filed by Emma Gayle Weaver, the representative of Thomas E. Weaver’s estate, in Escambia County, the […]
- Family of Corey Jones files Florida wrongful death lawsuit
The family of a man killed by a Florida police officer has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the officer and the city of Palm Beach Gardens. Corey Jones, a 31-year-old African-American man who was employed as a property manager and played drums in his church, was killed by Palm Beach Gardens police officer Nouman […]