A tragic boating precipitated the death of a local man, and spurred a lawsuit for monetary damages. The personal injury lawsuit alleges that but for the negligence of the defendants, the death of the twenty-three-year-old victim would never have happened.
The complaint, filed by attorneys representing the deceased victims parents, set forth that DJ Laz’s unlawful behavior caused the death of Ernesto Hernandez. Mr. Hernandez was killed in an attempt to free a boat captained by DJ Laz, whose given name is Lazaro Mendez.
According to the Miami the fatal incident occurred during what had otherwise been a festive occasion. DJ Laz, an on-air celebrity at a Southern Florida radio station, had been hosting a promotional event for Voli brand vodka. The event featured a party boat emblazoned with the vodka company’s logo, and the vodka company has also been named as a defendant in the civil suit.
A throng of revelers had gathered for fun in the sun during the party hosted by DJ Laz. Guests to the promotional event were served vodka and were enjoying dancing and music.
The celebration took a terrifying turn after the boat became caught on a sandbar at Key Biscayne’s Nixon Beach. Rather than waiting for the proper authorities to tow the boat free, DJ Laz solicited the help of party goers to push the boat,a 40-foot Hydro Sport Open Fisherman, back into open water.
Several party-goers heeded the call for assistance and began to push the boat. At this point, as claimed in the text of the civil complaint, DJ Laz “recklessly engaged the throttle of the engines.” Mr. Hernandez was then drawn into the propeller by the power of the engine and mortally wounded.
In a press conference addressing the lawsuit, Marcial Valdez, Mr. Hernandez’s mother, described her son as always being willing to come to the aid of others. He had recently graduated from the police academy.
In an article posted by Local, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission investigators confirmed that DJ Laz was behind the wheel of the vessel at the time of Mr. Hernandez’s injury. Additionally, DJ Laz refused to take part in field sobriety tests directly after the incident, but overtly displayed no signs of being inebriated.
An attorney for Ms. Valdez spoke at the press conference as well saying that an “experienced captain had no rational business asking people to push the boat free while revving the engines,” knowing that the likelihood of injury was immense. The attorney went on to say that questions were left unanswered as to how such a disaster could have happened leading to the death of an “innocent boy.”
In addition to the damages sought by the lawsuit, Ms. Valdez seeks to tighten boating regulations to prevent similar tragedies from happening in the future. She hopes to inspire a new law named after her son.
Contact an Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident, please contact immediately West Palm Beach boat accidents attorneys at Fetterman and Associates and our team of experienced personal injury attorneys west palm beach at 561-845-2510 for a free legal consultation.