After Death, Even an Estate Can Be Sued


Miami Marlins fans were stunned last September when the death of the team’s star pitcher, Jose Fernandez, was announced suddenly after he and two friends were killed in a boat crash at Miami Beach. Now, the families of Fernandez’s two friends are suing his estate on the grounds of negligence and personal injury.

The Details of the Crash

The story of Fernandez’s boat crash has hit headlines around the country. The boat hit a jetty close to Miami Beach sometime after midnight, and Fernandez suffered blunt force injuries to his head and torso, as well as skull and jaw fractures. Furthermore, the Medical Examiner found that Fernandez was legally drunk with cocaine in his system. His two friends, Emilio Macias and Eduardo Rivero, also died in the crash. It is still not clear who was piloting the boat when it crashed. Fernandez was a beloved figure on and off the field, and his death unsettled the Miami community.

Lawsuit Arises

Now, the families of Rivero and Macias are filing negligence and personal injury lawsuits for $2 million each. Given that Fernandez is not alive to sue, they are suing his estate, valued between $2 million and $3 million. According to the joint attorney handling the case, “The Rivero and Macias families are deeply scarred by the loss of their sons. We remain open to a settlement and are hopeful a prompt resolution can be achieved to spare these families, and that of Jose Fernandez, from any additional suffering.”

The complaints state that Fernandez’s negligence was a “direct and proximate cause” of the deaths of Rivero and Macias. Allegedly, Fernandez failed to comply with Florida state statutes as the owner of the 32’ SeaVee boat “while legally intoxicated and/or under the influence of an illegal substance.” GEICO insurance company has offered each family a $500,000 settlement, but the offer was rejected.

More controversy than normal surrounds this lawsuit because Fernandez’s girlfriend, Maria Arias, is about to give birth to the couple’s daughter, who would be beneficiary of the estate. If the lawsuit is settled, Fernandez’s daughter will be left with nothing.

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