Florida Auto Accident Lawsuit Involving Death of Police Officer Results in $11.5 Million Verdict
The family of a North Miami Beach Police Officer was awarded $11.5 million as a result of fatal injuries sustained in a 2004 Florida auto accident.
The wrongful death lawsuit was filed by Yvette Lorenzo and her three daughters following the death of their husband and father, Officer Orestes “Oreo” Lorenzo, on July 2, 2004.
As Officer Lorenzo was driving down a highway with a 50 miles per hour speed limit, Natasha Russo failed to stop at a stop sign, entering the path of his vehicle.
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While swerving to avoid impact, Officer Lorenzo’s vehicle hit the curb of the median and rolled over, slamming into a large Palm tree. As a result of a serious head injury suffered in the auto accident, he died a week later.
The jury awarded damages against Russo, as well as the Florida Department of Transportation, which was found to have violated industry standards by allowing large Palm trees and a drainage curb to be present in the median of the high-speed limit roadway.
“The Florida Department of Transportation rules do not allow curbs and Royal Palm trees to be present on roads with speed limits greater than 45 miles per hour precisely because of the danger that they present to motorists who may roll over when they impact the curb of the median at high speeds,” said attorney Ervin Gonzalez, who represented the family.
Officer Lorenzo had served on the force for 8 years, and had been awarded the honor of “Police Officer of the Year” and a medal of valor during his service. He was survived by his wife and three daughters, who are currently 19, 17 and 10 years old.
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