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Families In DUI Case Awarded $2.2 Million

The families of two men who were killed by a drunk driver were awarded a joint settlement of $2.2 million. The two men were killed when Alyza Russell, 22, was driving drunk and fatally struck the men with a 2012 Porsche Panamera in downtown Ft. Lauderdale in June.

The men, Mackendy Jules and Samuel Martindale, were homeless and were in a parking lot frequented by the homeless when they were hit.

Russell was arrested and charged with DUI manslaughter, unlawful blood alcohol level manslaughter and other DUI-related offenses. Her blood alcohol level was .17, more than double the legal limit. The criminal case is still pending.

The families of Jules and Martindale pursued a claim in their wrongful deaths, and lawyers negotiated a settlement in late August. Russell's mother, who owned the Porsche, and her insurance company will pay $2 million, while the family will pay the additional $220,000.

The families of Jules and Martindale consider Russell the third victim of the crash. "She made a mistake that people make every day in this country, in this city, and it's going to radically change her life forever," said James Hannon, who represented the Jules family.

A wrongful death claim allows family members to collect damages for loss of future wages, medical expenses prior to death, and loss of companionship. In Florida, a wrongful death claim must be filed by the person appointed by a probate court to be the personal representative of deceased person's estate. Our wrongful death attorneys will assist you in all probate proceedings necessary to file your wrongful death lawsuit.

At Freidin Brown, P.A., our Miami attorneys have been winning major awards and settlements for wrongful death victims throughout Florida. Here are some examples:

  • $900,000 for homeowner deaths caused by carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • $775,000 in a medical malpractice action based on failure to diagnose malignant melanoma.
  • $725,000 for the Orlando family of a woman who overdosed on prescription medicines over prescribed to her by her doctors, her pharmacy and approved by her HMO.
  • $1 million for the parents of a 35-year-old single man with AIDS killed by a bus while riding his bicycle on Miami Beach.
  • $750,000 settlement for mother of child who died as a result of medical negligence.
  • $1.5 million for the wrongful death of a child as a result of negligently inserting a feeding tube.
  • $1 million for wrongful death of a child as a result of medical negligence in failing to diagnose meningitis.

For more information, please contact us.

Source: Sun Sentinel, "Families in DUI case win $2.2M," Oct. 23, 2013.


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