Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

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Established in Key West for over 3 decades, Leesfield & Partners has filed countless lawsuits in Key West. This year, Ira Leesfield and Tom Scolaro have already filed three wrongful death lawsuits either in Monroe County or cases that originated from the Florida Keys.

dyko1.jpgLast January, a lawsuit was filed against a driver who ran over a bicyclist. The victim was former NFL player, Christopher Dyko, who was riding along U.S. 1. The driver of the car, Domingo Veloso, was arrested at the scene after he returned a few hours after the incident. Veloso is facing criminal charges at this time.

This month, a lawsuit was filed in Miami-Dade County by the Florida Keys’ family of a young child who hung himself while he was taken in by a mental health center. “At 14, [L.V.] hit an emotional wall,” said Ira Leesfield to news reporters, adding the teen was depressed. “He had a lot of problems and just needed help.” “[The facility was] aware of his history,” and “he should’ve never been left alone.”

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In a recent study published by Dangerous by Design 2014, South Florida, including the Florida Keys is the fourth most dangerous area in the entire country for pedestrians.

Between 2003 and 2012, over 47,000 pedestrians were killed in traffic-related accidents. The top 3 worst areas for pedestrians are New York, Los Angeles, and South Florida, which alone accounts for 1,539 pedestrian fatalities.

The Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI) is an indicator which measures the likelihood of being killed as a pedestrian along major roadways. The index is based on the amount of pedestrian deaths per 100,000 residents and percentage of people who commute on foot. The national average for the PDI is 52.2. South Florida’s score was 145.33.

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February 18, 2010- Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWCC) employee Elizabeth Overstreet was driving a FWCC truck northbound on U.S. Highway 1 near Marathon, Florida, while towing a trailer and an enormous 31-foot fishing boat. Overstreet was driving at the posted speed limit of 55 mph when she realized that the trailer and boat she was towing began to fishtail from side to side. Overstreet suddenly lost all control of the trailer and boat, which caused the FWCC truck to jackknife directly into oncoming traffic in the middle of the open freeway.

At that time, Ruth was driving her van in the southbound lane with a friend to visit friends and family in Big Pine Key. Suddenly, and without warning, Ruth noticed the FWCC truck barreling directly into her only path on the freeway, and she immediately made a defense maneuver in a desperate attempt to avoid a collision. Unfortunately, there was no escaping the FWCC truck, which ultimately plowed directly into Ruth Ann’s van. The tragic result was a massive head-on collision and explosion with two fatalities and catastrophic injuries to the survivors.

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Ruth miraculously survived the collision and ensuing explosion, but her nightmare had just begun. At 5:26 pm, she was loaded onto a stretcher for emergency airlift to Jackson Memorial Trauma unit with nine broken bones and bleeding profusely from numerous lacerations on her face. During this helicopter flight to the trauma unit, Ruth was forced to ponder the gruesome images of her beloved friend’s mangled body which remained lifeless in Ruth’s van.

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