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Broward County Jury Awards Family of North Miami Beach Police Officer Killed in Auto Crash $8.07 Million for His Wrongful Death

In Broward County, a Florida jury awarded Yvette Lorenzo and her three daughters $8.07 million for the wrongful death of Orestes Lorenzo. The deadly accident occurred on July 2, 2004. The North Miami Beach police officer was driving his vehicle on Pines Boulevard in Pembroke Pines when he swerved his vehicle to avoid striking a Honda Civic, driven by Natasha Russo. The 18-year-old failed to halt at a stop sign. Lorenzo’s motor vehicle then went into a drainage curb, which caused his car to trip and smash against a big royal palm tree. He was ejected from his vehicle and died several days later. Lorenzo’s family sued the Florida Department of Transportation, Natasha Russo, and William Russo for his wrongful death. The family’s complaint claims that Natasha’s negligent actions while driving her father’s vehicle caused Lorenzo’s wrongful death. It also accused the FDOT of negligence and violating its own regulations by placing big palm trees and a drainage curb on a road that had a 50pmh speed limit. The Broward County jury estimated that Lorenzo’s family sustained $11.5 million from the crash. After determining that Lorenzo, as well as the FDOT and Russo, was also liable for causing the Florida car accident, the jury awarded Lorenzo’s family 70% of the damages, placing 30% of liability with the police officer. Natasha was held 55% responsible for causing the deadly auto accident. Failing to Obey Stop Signs Running red lights and failing to halt at a stop sign are two common causes of traffic accidents. Stop signs are there to help drivers and pedestrians determine whose turn it is to move forward through an intersection. Unfortunately, not all motorists remember to stop at these signs, which can lead to serious injury accidents and deaths—especially for motorists, pedestrians, and pedalcyclists who may have expected the driver to yield the right of way. Related Web Resource: Wrongful Death Overview, Justia Florid Department of Transportation

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