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Personal Injury - Verdict in favor of Plaintiff in the amount of US$24,000,000

Case Name:Michael Demella, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Alanna Demella vs. Rosa Rivera Kim and
Case Number:12028526
Verdict Date:2015-06-23
Outcome TypeJury Verdict
Court:Circuit Court of the 17 Judicial Circuit in and for Broward County, Florida

Plaintiff's Complaint:
Partners Brad Edwards and Gary M. Farmer, Jr. of Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, P.L. and Co-Counsel Daniel W. Cotter of The Maher Law Firm obtained a $24 million dollar verdict in a wrongful death suit against a Fort Lauderdale hotel for the death of a hotel guest. Alanna Demella, seven months pregnant at the time, was killed when a car traveled off of the road and into a poolside cabana she was occupying at the Riverside Hotel in Fort Lauderdale. A Broward Circuit Court jury handed down an eight figure verdict on June 23 in favor of Alanna Demella' husband, Michael Demella. Michael and Alanna Demella were visiting from Massachusetts in March 2012. The couple checked into the Riverside Hotel and went to the pool. They had stepped into the cabana restroom moments before the incident. The driver of the vehicle, Rosa Rivera Kim, was later arrested and in January 2015 and was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison on two counts of DUI Manslaughter, after it was determined that her blood alcohol level was .24 – 3 times the legal limit. Michael Demella filed suit against the Riverside Hotel, claiming that the hotel was negligent in failing to maintain its property in a reasonably safe condition by protecting its guest from the known danger that speeding and distracted drivers posed to hotel guests. At trial, Edwards and his team sought to prove that the hotel knew of the growing danger and could have done more to protect their guests against that danger. Demella introduced evidence at trial showing that the particular cabana was located in a vulnerable spot just off the sharp curve on the property with no protection from passing cars. It was also demonstrated that for years before this tragic accident hotel management was aware that cars traveled along this stretch of road at speeds far in excess of what this section of the road was designed to handle, and that these drivers posed a serious danger to guests, from which guests deserved protection. "This verdict is important for two reasons. First, it is verification that our jury system, in which we believe so strongly, works. Second, the jury recognized the need for safety in our community as well as the extraordinary value that Alanna Demella brought to her husband. I am very proud to have met and represented Michael Demella and to have played a role in helping him achieve justice."said attorney Brad Edwards. The Broward County jury returned a verdict of $24 million and assigned fifteen percent (15%) responsibility against the Riverside Hotel following a seven day trial.

Injury, Damage, or Loss:

Defendant's Wrongdoing:

Plaintiff's Attorneys:
Bradley Edwards, Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, PL Gary M. Farmer, Jr., Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, PL Co-Counsel Daniel W. Cotter of The Maher Law Firm

Defendant's Attorneys:


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Published on Apr-29-16


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