Jose Fernandez's Estate Sued for Two Wrongful Death Claims

Hi I’m Brett Panter from the personal injury law firm of Panter, Panter & Sampedro. Today I’m here to talk to you about a terrible tragedy in our community. The loss of Jose Fernandez, a famous baseball player for the Marlins. You may know he died in a terrible boating accident, but what you may not know is two of his friends were on that boat also. Unfortunately, as things happen, there have been two lawsuits and they are called wrongful death lawsuits. Those young men, named Rivero and Macias, they were 25 and 27 years old. And as they every right to do, or as I should say more appropriately, their families, have brought what’s called wrongful death cases. Now, there’s two elements I’m going to talk briefly about. One is what needs to be proven to be compensated and then two what the compensation is in a wrongful death claim. Let’s talk about the first aspect. The first aspect is was there negligence on the person you’re bringing the case against. In this case it’s an estate because the baseball player Jose Fernandez died in the accident as well so these families have to bring a case against the estate of Jose Fernandez and in that case they have to prove that Jose Fernandez was negligent and that negligence contributed and caused the death of Rivero and Macias. Now there’s something as part of a defense, which is comparative negligence. We don’t know all the facts yet. If either Rivero or Macias was driving the boat, does that make a difference? And some would say yes and some would say no. I would tell you that the answer is most likely “yes” because if they were driving the boat, they would be contributory negligent. In other words, they would also be what’s also referred to as comparatively negligence. Their families’ ability to recover could be reduced by a certain percent for whatever the jury felt was their responsibility for the accident. The next thing is if there was alcohol and drugs involved, and they were involved in alcohol and drugs, they could also be held comparatively responsible for that. That doesn’t mitigate or relieve Jose Fernandez for his actions if he was involved in drinking and taking drugs and operating the boat. So it’s a mixed bag of events and facts that have to be proven, but for the estates of the two decedents to prove a case against the estate of Jose Fernandez, they must prove negligence and they will be in a battle with respect to comparative negligence. The next issue, is what can the families of Rivero and Macias recover and who can recover. If these young men were married, their spouses would have a claim. If they were not married and they had children, any of their true blood relatives or blood children, rather, children that they fathered, would have a claim whether they were married or not. If they were married and had children, of courses the spouses and the children would be able to bring a claim. If they were not married, their parents, their mothers and their fathers, if they were living, would then have a claim for their damages. What are the damages? The damages are mental pain and suffering for the loss of their loved ones. That’s the broken heart. The damages can be economic such as what’s referred to as net accumulations. In other words, what their earning capacity was and what they would have left after personal consumption. It’s just a brief synopsis of what the damages would be in a wrongful death case. This case appears to be one that is highly contested and with great emotion and great sadness. It’s unfortunate that three men died in this tragedy on the boat on the water right off Miami at the cut of Miami Beach. It was a tragedy and now it’s resulted as we’ve read about most recently in two wrongful death cases so I hope this brief synopsis gives you a bit of information about the complexities of wrongful death actions and also boat accidents.

Who can bring a wrongful death claim in Florida?

Hi my name is David Sampedro I’m a board certified civil trial attorney at Panter, Panter and Sampedro. We handle all types of negligence and wrongful death cases caused by either other individuals or other corporations or companies. Often times we’re asked to look into wrongful death cases and we are called by an array of people who may have close relationships with someone who has passed away as a result of another person’s or another company’s negligence or wrong doing or wrongful conduct. There are some circumstances however when we cannot make a claim by law even if there was negligence. Let’s first talk about what types of claims you can make. Let’s keep in mind for the most part we’re talking about here survivors. Survivors are a term that’s defined by Florida Statute. Survivors typically are spouses and when I say spouses I mean legally married spouses. In other words, common law spouses are not recognized as survivors. In fact, common law marriage is no longer recognized in Florida since 1968. The other states are a little bit different. So spouses, minor children, and minor under the statute the wrongful death statute is children under the age of 25, not what you typically see with 18. Adult children. And blood relatives who are wholly or partly supported economically supported by the decedent. That is the decedent provided with them with that they call support or services and both of those terms are defined by Florida law. So all of those individuals under most circumstances can make a claim for economic damages that is to say whether it be the support and the services that were provided or something that’s called net accumulation which is basically the money that’s saved after one spends their income on general items on oneself the other aspect of it is something called noneconomic damages or the pain and suffering damages the loss of the companionship of the decedent. Under those circumstances the only individuals who can make a claim in a wrongful death context are spouses, legally married spouses, minor children under the age of 25, the parents of the decedent and the adult children. There is a certain order in which those claims can be made. In other words, the spouse always has a right to make a claim, minor children always have a right to make a claim. If you don’ have a spouse or a minor child, the adult children can make a claim as well. And if none of those exist, the parents can make a claim. One of the exceptions is in the context of medical malpractice cases. In medical malpractice cases the only survivors who can make a claim for non-economic damages are spouses and minor children, children under the age of 25. So, if you’re over the age of 25 and your mother or father has a died as a result of medical malpractice the law unfortunately regardless of how close of a relationship you may have had with that person does not recognize those damages that you have sustained, those non economic damages you have sustained as compensable under Florida law. Similarly, if there are no survivors, if the decedent doesn’t have anybody who is under the age of 25. In other words if all of their children are adults, under those circumstances the law would not recognize those noneconomic damages. So it’s a lot to consider and it’s not always as easy as it appears and there are a lot of nuances you need to consider in the wrongful death context.

¿Quién puede traer una reclamación de muerte injusta en Florida?

Buenas, mi nombre es David Sampedro soy un abogado certificado como un experto en el área de leyes civiles a través del colegio de abogados de la Florida en el bufete de Panter Panter y Sampedro. Nosotros tomamos y representamos a personas que están lesionado o en algunas circunstancias que han fallecido debido de la negligencia de otra persona u otra compañía. Muchas veces recibimos llamadas a averiguar si se puede presentar una reclamación debido del fallecimiento de un ser querido ha resultado de la negligencia de otra persona u otra compañía y las leyes de la Florida reconoce algunas veces y algunos individuos que tienen el derecho a recibir compensación por el fallecimiento, compensación emocional debido del fallecimiento de un ser querido; vamos a hablar un poco de eso. La Florida reconoce que el esposo o la esposa de un fallecido tienen el derecho a traer una reclamación por el fallecimiento, y cuando digo esposo o esposa estamos hablando de alguien que está casado legalmente bajo las leyes de la Florida. La ley no reconoce un matrimonio que simplemente viven conjuntamente, no importa la relación que sea, tiene que estar casado por ley. Hijos menores de edad y la ley habla de la edad de menores son niños que tienen menos de 25 años de edad. Ellos también siempre tienen el derecho a traer una reclamación por el fallecimiento de un padre de ello. Bajo algunas circunstancias cuando no hay esposo o esposa, hijos que tienen más de 25 años de edad también tienen el derecho a traer una reclamación en nombre del fallecimiento del padre o madre de ello mismo. Si no hay esposo ni hijos, los padres del fallecido también tienen derecho a traer una reclamación. Hermanos y hermanas no tienen derecho a traer un caso para pérdida emocional. La pérdida económica si el fallecido le daba ayuda económica si hay alguna circunstancias donde se pueda traer el caso como un sobreviviente, y esa palabra un sobreviviente esta explicado a la definición esta por ley. Ahora hay algunas excepciones donde la ley no reconoce los derechos de padres si el fallecido tiene más de 25 años de edad o de los hijos que tienen más de 25 años de edad y esos son casos de negligencia médica. En casos de negligencia médica cuando alguien ha fallecido, la única persona que tiene derecho a recibir compensación por los daños emocional del fallecimiento del ser querido son esposos y esposas e hijos que es tienen menos de 25 años de edad. O sea los hijos que tiene mas de 25 años de edad que pasa muchas veces con personas que son mayor que obviamente los hijos de ellos ya han crecido y quizás que no tienen esposo o esposa porque son viudos o se han divorciado, desafortunadamente algunas veces la ley no reconoce esos daños emocionales. Hay mucho a considerar cuando uno está siguiendo un caso de fallecimiento por la negligencia de otro y es algo que debes hablar con un abogado. Muchísimas gracias.