FORT MYERS, Fla. (Dec. 23, 2017) – Aloia, Roland, Lubell & Morgan, PLLC (ARLM)—a leading, SWFL personal injury, business litigation, civil rights, family law, and real estate law firm is proud to announce that ARLM partners, Ty Roland and Evan Lubell, won a $23.75 million settlement in the wrongful death case of Tricia Dominguez versus Florida Power & Light. “This is one of the largest verdicts in Lee County History,” says, attorney Frank Aloia.
In 2008, FPL’s own inspectors warned the company that bamboo near the Dominguez home was too close to power lines and should be removed. Three years later, 15-year-old Justin Dominguez was playing with other children at a neighbor’s home when the bamboo stalk he climbed struck the high-voltage power lines and he sustained catastrophic injuries. He died two weeks later in a hospital after he was declared brain dead and removed from a ventilator.
“FPL had more than ten opportunities, since 2008, to eliminate the danger to the children living adjacent to this 13,000 volt power line, and failed to act each and every time. They broke the law. They broke their own rules. They blamed a boy for climbing a tree, instead of apologizing and trying to stop it from happening again,” said Ty Roland. In addition, Evan Lubell said, “The Jury had the rare opportunity to see in the light of day the behind-the-scenes decision-making that multi-billion-dollar companies like FPL make when their failures are challenged by regular people.”
ARLM partners, Ty Roland and Evan Lubell, showed the jury an FPL work order to remove the bamboo at that exact address from three years before the boy died. FPL knew for years that the highly conductive bamboo posed a serious threat to the people living in the area, and yet the Florida utility did nothing to address the danger. A six-man jury found for Mrs. Dominguez and awarded her $8.75 million for pain and suffering for the loss of her first-born son. The jury took the further step to award Mrs. Dominquez punitive damages of $15.0 million for FPL’s gross negligence. The purpose of the punitive damages is to punish FPL for their gross incompetence and to prevent this from ever happening again.
The impact of this case is more than just monetary. “This verdict will save lives,” said Ty Roland. The bamboo near the power lines was finally removed, nine years after its discovery as a hazard, and six years after this teen’s death. Roland adds, “We just received word that another clump of bamboo was removed just yesterday off of McGregor. Hopefully, this verdict will serve as a warning and prevention of any future deaths in relation to overgrown bamboo near power lines.”
A complete account of this case and trial, along with other insights from Mr. Lubell and Mr. Roland on this case, can be can be found online at Aloia, Roland, Lubell & Morgan, PLLC’s website at www.floridalegalrights.com.
About Aloia, Roland, Lubell & Morgan, PLLC
Aloia, Roland, Lubell & Morgan, PLLC is a leading SWFL law firm with offices in Fort Myers and Cape Coral. The firm concentrates on areas of serious personal injury and wrongful death, defective products and drugs, first-party insurance claims, civil rights violations, general business/construction litigation, family law, real estate, and corporate transactional matters.