Judd Rosen and Mustafa Dandashly from Goldberg & Rosen rejected the initial $80,000 settlement offer in the wrongful death case
In a recent wrongful death case that captured the attention of legal experts, a Miami state court jury delivered a verdict of $5.2 million after three days of deliberation. The plaintiff, represented by Judd Rosen and Mustafa Dandashly from Goldberg & Rosen in Miami, had initially been offered a meager settlement of $80,000 by the defendants, represented by an Am Law 200 firm.
Read more to learn how Goldberg & Rosen used key evidence to seek justice:
Insulting settlement offer and standing up for justice
"The proposal for settlement was a total insult to the family, and when they did that, the family made up their mind that a settlement was never an option," commented Judd Rosen, managing partner at Goldberg & Rosen. He emphasized the importance of not letting defendants dictate a case's worth, highlighting the need for plaintiffs' attorneys to determine the case's value independently and advocate for it.
The case revolved around the tragic death of Miguel Del Angel Ortiz, represented by the plaintiff's estate, in an accident involving driver Jairo Restrepo and Performance Transportation LLC. The jury assigned 62% of the fault to Restrepo and 38% to Ortiz, resulting in the estate receiving over $3.2 million in damages for pain and suffering.
Legal defense and dismissal attempt
The incident occurred in February 2022 at the intersection of Dade Boulevard and Purdy Avenue in Miami-Dade County. Restrepo, operating an international box truck for Performance Transportation LLC, negligently made a right turn, fatally striking Ortiz, who was riding his bicycle.
The defendants had argued for the case's dismissal, citing Miami Beach police findings that Ortiz was listening to music and failed to yield the right of way. In October, they proposed a settlement of $80,000, which the plaintiffs rejected, leading to the trial.
Crucial visual evidence and traffic violation
Key to the plaintiff's success was the compelling visual evidence. The entire incident was captured on various cameras, including one inside Restrepo's truck, showing him distracted and using a cell phone while driving. Judd Rosen, leading the plaintiff's legal team for Goldberg & Rosen, specifically highlighted a traffic law violation, as Restrepo failed to signal his turn until just 20 feet before, causing the collision with Ortiz, who was already at the side of the truck.
“It’s a little-known law that drivers of vehicles have to put on turn signals 100 feet before they turn, but this gentleman put his blinker on 20 feet before he turned, and by the time he put his blinker on, the bicyclist was already on the side of the truck.”Judd Rosen managing partner at Goldberg & Rosen
Moreover, the emotional impact of the decedent's 85-year-old mother's testimony played a significant role in the verdict. Her powerful presence in court, as she traveled from Mexico to testify, resonated with the jury, and underscored the profound loss experienced by the family.
This case serves as a reminder of the importance of advocating for just compensation, even when faced with minimal settlement offers, and the significant role visual evidence can play in shaping legal outcomes.
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