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 jury awards 10 million dollars in wrongful death lawsuit
A jury in a Florida wrongful death lawsuit found Domino’s Pizza liable for car accident that left a man paralyzed from the waist down and ultimately resulted in his death. After Richard Wiederhold, a Brevard County fire chief, was hit by a pizza delivery driver, he was left paralyzed, and his wife had to take […]
- Learn the facts about medical malpractice
Medical malpractice causes thousands of injuries and deaths every year. Here are the facts you should be aware of. • Medical malpractice is the third most common cause of death in the United States, after heart disease and cancer, according to research published in the Journal of Patient Safety, which estimates that up to 440,000 […]
- Robert Joyce honored with 2016 Champion of Justice award
Attorney Robert Joyce will receive the 2016 Champion of Justice award from the Tampa Bay Trial Lawyers Association. This prestigious award has only been given seven times in the past, and it is only presented to attorneys who have demonstrated an exceptional lifetime commitment to the service of justice. The Tampa Bay Trial Lawyers Association […]
- Tampa Bay area pill mill doctor and wife convicted on drug charges
A Tampa doctor who practiced in Pinellas Park, and his wife, were convicted of federal drug conspiracy charges, for prescribing oxycodone and other medications that a jury found led to three patient deaths. Dr. Edward Neil Feldman, a 76-year-old orthopedist, and his wife Kim Feldman, were both convicted on five related counts in a case […]
- Nursing assistant sentenced to jail in Florida nursing home abuse case
Nursing home abuse and neglect was at the forefront of a recent case in which a former certified nursing assistant in Florida received a five-month jail sentence and five years of probation for the abuse of a nursing home resident, which was caught on a hidden camera. The Florida woman was charged with battery on […]