Suit Alleges Broken Delineators Create a Hazardous Trap for Drivers
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 13, 2017) — The law firm of Colson Hicks Eidson has filed two negligence lawsuits in the 11th Judicial Circuit in Miami-Dade County against the State of Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and DBI Services for failing to maintain the orange plastic delineator poles on I-95 express lanes, creating a hazardous trap for drivers.
The suit was filed on behalf of plaintiffs Cynthia Fleischmann and Catherine Milagros Perez Garcia, who were traveling northbound on Oct. 14, 2015 on their Harley Davidson motorcycles in the I-95 express lanes, approximately 500 feet south of the N.W. 103 street exit, when they were struck by a vehicle that illegally entered the express lanes from the general purpose lanes. The driver of the vehicle, Felix Luis Ortero Ortiz, and the owner of the vehicle are both named as Defendants in the lawsuit.
Fleishmann, 30, and Perez, 36, were transferred to Ryder Trauma at Jackson Memorial Hospital with significant and permanent injuries. Fleishman, a decorated artist, had to undergo the surgical amputation of her right leg above the knee and additional surgery to repair a right acetabulum fracture.
According to the lawsuit, DBI Services and FDOT failed to properly maintain, repair and replace the delineator poles that separate the general purpose lanes from the express lanes on I-95, creating large gaps which invite drivers to “lane dive,” or change into the express lanes through the large gaps, posing an unreasonable risk to users of the express lanes and increasing the risk of harm to users.
The suit also contends that the gaps in the delineator poles along I-95 in the area where the plaintiffs were struck were there for a sufficient length of time that Defendants, DBI Services and FDOT, knew or should have known of the hazardous condition. DBI Services is in charge of maintaining the delineator poles on I-95 and the FDOT is responsible for implementing safety criteria for road construction, maintenance and travel, including on I-95.
“The defendants have a duty to properly maintain our roadways for the safety of drivers. The express lanes have created an extremely dangerous and unnecessary condition for drivers, which is exasperated when the delineator poles are not properly maintained,” said attorney Lewis S. “Mike” Eidson who filed the lawsuit along with partner Ervin A. Gonzalez and colleague Susan S. Carlson.
An online petition has been started calling for state lawmakers to fix the express lanes on I-95. For more information, visit here.
A press conference will be held on Tuesday, February 14 at 11:00 a.m. at the law firm of Colson Hicks Eidson, 255 Alhambra Circle, Penthouse, Coral Gables, FL 33134. Please call or email Cindi Perantoni if you plan to attend: firstname.lastname@example.org /305.962.9206.
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ABOUT COLSON HICKS EIDSON
The Law Firm of Colson Hicks Eidson is a trial firm with nearly 50 years of experience handling local, national and international litigation, and arbitration. Members of the firm have been involved in some of the country’s most high-profile and landmark cases resulting in impactful and precedential rulings. A mid-size firm with a diverse staff comprised of more than 50 percent women and minorities, Colson Hicks Eidson prides itself on a track record of developing future leaders within the legal profession and its civic and community involvement. Members of the firm have held notable positions serving on the boards of prominent institutions, such as the State University System of Florida and the Florida State Board of Education, and holding high-ranking offices, including President of the 60,000-member American Association for Justice; President of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers; President of the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers; President of the Dade County Bar Association; President of the Miami-Dade Florida Association of Women Lawyers; United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; and Chairman of the Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission.