Florida Jury Awards 24 Million Dollars in Wrongful Death Lawsuit | Law Firm Newswire

Florida Jury Awards 24 Million Dollars in Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) August 25, 2015 - A Florida jury awarded $24 million to a man whose pregnant wife died when a vehicle crashed into their pool cabana.

The jury handed down the verdict in favor of Michael Demella, whose wife, Alanna, was killed at the Riverside Hotel in Fort Lauderdale when she was struck by a drunk driver.

“When a loved one is lost due to another's negligence, a wrongful death lawsuit can provide some compensation to the grieving family,” said Robert Joyce, a Tampa wrongful death attorney with Joyce & Reyes, who is not involved in the case.

Michael Demella filed the lawsuit against the driver, Rosa Rivera Kim, the Riverside Hotel, and Kim's husband. The hotel became the sole defendant after the Kims were removed from the lawsuit. Kim was convicted of drunk driving after authorities measured her blood alcohol level at 0.24, which is three times the legal limit when driving. The jury found Kim 85 percent responsible for the woman's death and found the hotel 15 percent responsible. The Riverside Hotel must pay Demella $3.6 million.

Demella argued that there was a history of unsafe driving on the stretch of road near where the accident occurred, and the hotel was negligent in not taking action to create a protective barrier. Kim failed to follow the curve of the road, causing her to plow into the cabana building. In January, she was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

The hotel released a statement indicating that it would appeal. The statement said that the jury properly found that the majority of the responsibility for the accident should be placed on the drunk driver, but that the hotel looked forward to overturning the verdict.

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

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