Colson Hicks Eidson Files Lyft Wrongful Death Lawsuit against Ride Service and Driver Involved in Fatal Miami Accident

November 23, 2015 / 2:09 am

Lyft Driver Failed to Yield the Right Away Killing Motorcyclist

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (November 18, 2015) — Coral Gables-based law firm Colson Hicks Eidson, filed a wrongful death negligence lawsuit against Lyft Florida, Inc., a ridesharing transportation service, and one of its Miami drivers who was involved in a fatal crash with a motorcyclist.

The Lyft wrongful death lawsuit, filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, alleges that Lyft neglected to properly train its driver, Pirooz Pakdel, who failed to yield the right of way to the motorcyclist, Loinier Perez, 29, of Miami. The victim is survived by his wife, Poliana, who was eight months pregnant with the couple’s first child at the time of the incident.

According to the lawsuit, Perez was struck on October 31 while Pakdel was carrying a pair of Lyft passengers in his 2003 Jeep Liberty. Pakdel struck the motorcycle, the suit says, while making an improper left hand turn from NE 1st Avenue onto NE 36th Street. Perez was hit with such force that he was ejected from his motorcycle. He was pronounced dead at Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center.

The accident raises questions about the upstart car service’s ability to properly train and vet the backgrounds of drivers who offer discount transportation under the Lyft name.

Typically, drivers operate their own automobiles as independent contractors and respond to ride requests from customers who register with the company online. According to the suit, drivers can apply to join Lyft by logging into a company app or web-based portal. They provide information about themselves, including their names, phone numbers, home and email addresses, bank information, vehicle registration, insurance and vehicle description.

“It is the responsibility of taxi services to thoroughly supervise and vet the backgrounds of drivers before they get behind the wheel of a car to offer transportation services to the public,” said a Colson Hicks Eidson partner, who represents the Perez estate along with Susan S. Carlson, who is of counsel at the firm. “In this case, Lyft, which isn’t even authorized to operate in Miami-Dade County, fell far short of its obligation to act in the best interests of public safety and an innocent life was taken. We need to enforce stronger regulations and training programs if these ride sharing services are going to be allowed in our community.”

The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified economic and non-economic damages for Perez’s wife and for her unborn son, alleges that Pakdel lacked the necessary experience and training to operate as driver for hire.

“Defendant Lyft knew or should have known that defendant Pakdel was improperly trained or suited for the job before the date of this incident,” the suit alleges. “Further, defendant Lyft knew or should have known of the unsuitability and lack of proper training of Pakdel at the time he was hired and before the date of the subject incident, and that such unsuitability would result in injury to others, including decedent Loinier Perez.”

The emergence of Lyft as well as Uber, its principal competitor in major U.S. cities and counties, has posed an array of safety and regulatory challenges for local governments that seek to ensure safeguards for consumers who want cheaper car services than those offered by traditional taxi and limousine operations.

In a campaign highlighting alleged risks associated with Lyft and Uber, the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association has raised questions about both firms over safety, insurance, driver background checks and other issues.

In Miami-Dade County, neither Lyft nor Uber is authorized to operate. Officials have used sting operations to issue more than 3,300 citations. They have impounded dozens of cars operated by Lyft and Uber drivers. Both companies have been paying for their drivers’ tickets and impound fees.

Mayor Carlos Gimenez has reportedly said that he hopes to see the county’s taxicab and limousine rules rewritten to legalize both ride services before the end of his year.

In Broward County, Lyft and Uber have been intermittently barred from conducting operations. But in October, county commissioners allowed both companies to operate after resolving a contentious standoff over driver insurance, background checks and other regulatory requirements.

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About Colson Hicks Eidson

The law firm of Colson Hicks Eidson is a trial firm with more than 40 years of experience handling local, national and international litigation. Partners at the firm have had the distinction of holding the following offices: 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. For more information, call 305-476-7400.

About Susan S. Carlson

Susan S. Carlson is of counsel at the firm. She has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury, wrongful death, product liability, commercial and class action litigation. As a litigation and injury attorney, she has been involved in numerous million dollar personal injury settlements and verdicts.

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MIAMI (June 13, 2024) – Colson Hicks Eidson has been recognized as one of the top three trial law firms in Florida in the “Litigation: Mainly Plaintiffs” category by the respected Chambers and Partners USA Legal Guide for the fourth year in a row. In addition, five of the Miami-based firm’s attorneys were also ranked individually.

“These rankings highlight the commitment and hard work of our attorneys, showcasing our firm’s capability to manage diverse cases for our clients,” said Dean Colson. “As the South Florida business landscape evolves, we remain committed to serving new clients while upholding the same standard of excellence that has defined our firm for 55 years.”

Stephanie Casey, Julie Braman Kane, Curtis Miner, Roberto Martínez, and Mike Eidson were all ranked individually for their work in the “Litigation: Mainly Plaintiffs” category. Miner received the top ranking (Band 1) and Eidson was named “Senior Statesperson” in “Litigation: Mainly Plaintiffs.” Martínez was named “Senior Statesperson” in two categories: “Litigation: Mainly Plaintiffs” and “White Collar Crime and Government Investigations.”

The rankings are a result of the firm’s exceptional track record of securing multimillion-dollar judgments and settlements for its clients in areas that include commercial litigation, medical malpractice, products liability, class actions, multidistrict litigation, and aviation and automobile accidents.

To schedule a consultation, do not hesitate to contact an attorney at our law office. We have experience in a wide variety of cases for clients located throughout the nation and around the globe.

About Colson Hicks Eidson

Colson Hicks Eidson is a renowned law firm based in Miami, Florida, that is recognized as one of the top trial firms in the United States. Built on a foundation of over 50 years of dedication forging strong client relationships, Colson Hicks Eidson handles local, national, and international litigation, with cases spanning from Miami, Florida, and throughout the United States, to matters in the Caribbean, Central America, South America, and Europe. Learn more at: www.colson.com.

Colson Hicks Eidson lawyers Thomas Kroeger and Zachary Lipshultz secured a $3 million damages award for a family of four who suffered significant trauma when a defective lithium-ion battery-powered scooter exploded and burned down their townhome. The family lost all of their possessions and endured significant emotional distress after being exposed to the fire and smoke.

On June 21, 2021, the electric scooter sold by Miami-based Defendant Hypertoyz exploded in the family’s foyer, quickly engulfing their home in fire. Everyone managed to escape amid the smoke and fire, but the family’s townhome was gutted in the blaze, destroying their possessions and forcing them to relocate.

A Federal District Court for the Southern District of Florida recently awarded all four family members compensatory damages totaling $3 million.

Colson Hicks Eidson, P.A. and co-counsel BartlettChen LLC filed a complaint on behalf of a three-generation family who experienced a harrowing near-death incident on a United Airlines flight. The event occurred due to a miscommunication between the Captain and First Officer, resulting in the plane suddenly losing altitude and plunging toward the Pacific Ocean, coming within seconds of crashing and subjecting the passengers to extreme G-forces and terror.

The incident took place on Dec. 18, 2022 when three generations of the family boarded United Airlines Flight 1722 from Maui, Hawaii to San Francisco, California after a long-planned family vacation.

Shortly after takeoff during heavy rain, the Captain asked the First Officer to reset the wing flaps, but the First Officer heard “15” instead of “five,” according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).  The NTSB concluded that the probable cause of the incident was “the flight crew’s failure to manage the airplane’s vertical flightpath, airspeed, and pitch attitude following a miscommunication about the captain’s desired flap setting during the initial climb.”

“To some extent, encounters with bad weather or turbulence are unavoidable when you fly, but no passenger should ever have to endure such a terrifying experience due to pilot error while traveling on a routine commercial flight.” Curtis Miner, Counsel for Plaintiffs said. “Our clients’ entire, three-generation family was subjected to this terrifying, near-miss incident.  We are committed to seeking justice and fair compensation on their behalf.'” Austin Bartlett, Counsel for Plaintiffs, commented: “This nearly catastrophic flight was horrific and traumatic. The Maltz family and all airlines passengers deserve better.”

The complaint was filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois where United Airlines is headquartered.

About Colson Hicks Eidson

Colson Hicks Eidson is a boutique litigation firm serving clients in local, national, and international matters. Our multilingual team of highly experienced attorneys is dedicated to providing our clients with top-tier legal representation backed by a commitment to hard work, creative thinking, responsiveness, and professionalism. From our offices in Miami, we have handled a broad range of significant legal matters around the world for over 50 years.

About BartlettChen LLC

Based in Chicago, BartlettChen LLC represents individuals in aviation, wrongful death, and immigration matters across the nation and internationally. Austin Bartlett of BartlettChen has practiced aviation law for more than two decades and brings the unique perspective of a former aviation defense attorney to help victims and their families secure full compensation for their losses.

Colson Hicks Eidson is pleased to announce that nine attorneys have been named in the 2024 Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers. Lawyers for this guide are selected through Lawdragon’s process of independent journalistic research and submissions.  Their selection process emphasizes lawyers who have demonstrated consistent excellence and have made notable impacts in their fields.

Click here to read the full guide.

The Firm’s recognized attorneys are listed below.

About Colson Hicks Eidson

Colson Hicks Eidson is a boutique litigation law firm based in Miami, Florida, serving clients in local, national, and international matters across multiple languages. Practice areas include complex civil and commercial litigation, catastrophic personal injury, medical negligence, product liability, class action, mass tort, and white-collar criminal defense for the most serious and challenging of cases.  Since 1971, the firm and its lawyers have consistently worked to be respected by the state and federal judiciary – securing numerous multimillion-dollar verdicts, judgments, and settlements on behalf of clients. Learn more at www.colson.com.

MIAMI (November 2, 2023) – Colson Hicks Eidson announced today that it has been named in the 2024 list of The Best Law Firms in America. The Miami-based firm has once again received this honor at both the national and metropolitan level. This follows a recent announcement where seven of the firm’s attorneys were named as Best Lawyers in America” for 2024 across a range of fields.

“We strive every day to provide the best possible representation for our clients, and we are honored to continue to receive this recognition for our work,” said Dean C. Colson, Managing Partner of Colson Hicks Eidson.

Best Lawyers, a distinguished peer-review legal publication company, develops The Best Law Firms in America listings through individual lawyer and law firm surveys and firm recognition history. Colson Hicks Eidson is recognized in the following areas.

National Tier 2 (Represents national clients and smaller companies)

  1. Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Plaintiffs

Metropolitan Tier 1 (Scored within a certain percentage of highest-scoring firms in area)

Miami

  1. Bet-the-Company Litigation
  2. Commercial Litigation
  3. Criminal Defense: White-Collar
  4. Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Plaintiffs
  5. Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs
  6. Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs
  7. Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs
  8. Insurance Law

Metropolitan Tier 2 (Scored within a certain percentage of the next highest-scoring firms in area)

Miami

  1. Professional Malpractice Law – Defendants
  2. Professional Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs

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About Colson Hicks Eidson

Colson Hicks Eidson is a boutique litigation law firm based in Miami, Florida, serving clients in local, national, and international matters across multiple languages. Practice areas include complex civil and commercial litigation, catastrophic personal injury, medical negligence, product liability, class action, mass tort, and white-collar criminal defense for the most serious and challenging of cases.  Since 1971, the firm and its lawyers have consistently worked to be respected by the state and federal judiciary – securing numerous multimillion-dollar verdicts, judgments, and settlements on behalf of clients. Learn more at www.colson.com.

Colson Hicks Eidson (CHE) is proud to announce its recent involvement in a significant legal matter with statewide implications. Sabrina Saieh, an attorney at CHE, has filed an amicus brief in the First District Court of Appeal in the case of State of Florida, Agency of Health Care Administration v. Alfredo Ivan Murciano, M.D. in support of Dr. Murciano’s brief.

The amicus brief was filed on behalf of CHE senior partner Roberto Martinez, who served on the most recent Florida Constitution Review Commission and was the primary sponsor of an amendment to the Florida Constitution, now found in Article V, Section 21, titled “Judicial Interpretation of Statutes and Rules.” This amendment explicitly prevents courts and Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) from deferring to administrative agencies’ interpretations of state statutes or rules.

The brief urges the First District Court of Appeal to recognize that Article V, Section 21 was added to the Florida Constitution to prevent executive branch agencies, such as the Agency of Health Care Administration (ACHA), from imposing their legal interpretations on the courts and ALJs. The Florida Constitution prohibits ALJs and the courts from accepting mandates from ACHA to adopt their findings of fact or issue orders based on ACHA’s interpretations of statutes and rules that contradict those determined by the ALJs or courts during a de novo review.

This amicus brief underscores CHE’s dedication to defending the integrity of the Florida Constitution and ensuring that judicial interpretation of statutes and rules remains impartial and independent from administrative agencies.