Families compensated for decade-old Miami Beach drowning lawsuits

Legal News for Florida Personal Injury Attorneys. Court awards $5 million to the family of man who died trying to save woman on a public Miami Beach with no lifeguard or riptide warning signs.

Surviving families compensated through court ruling after drowning incidents on Miami Beach.

Miami, FL— A case in which a man drowned in a brave attempt to save a woman from Miami Beach riptides, has finally come to a close after over ten years, with the family being compensated with $5 million in damages. The husband of the woman who drowned that tragic day was also compensated with $750,000 in damages, as reported by the Miami Herald.

It was reported that during a winter vacation in 1997, Zachary Breaux, a jazz musician from New York, allegedly heard a woman, Eugenie Poleyeff, call out for help after getting caught in the ocean riptides off 29th Street and Collins Avenue on Miami Beach. Breaux then proceeded to swim into the dangerous riptides to try and save her while his family allegedly continued their search for a lifeguard that may be able to help them. Both Breaux and Poleyeff sadly drowned soon after being caught in the deadly riptides. Breaux’s wife, Frederica Breaux, as well as Poleyeff’s husband, Israel Poleyeff, sued Miami Beach for their lack of lifeguards and riptide safety warnings posted on the public beach.

The case ended up in federal court in Miami, where U.S. District Judge Alan Gold ordered Monticello Insurance Co., the city’s insurance carrier, to pay off damages to Breaux’s family as well as Poleyeff’s husband after the fatal drowning incident. It was reported that Miami Beach allegedly “provided parking, showers, and concessions near the 29th Street beach to cater to the public, but didn’t bother to station lifeguards, supply lifesaving equipment or put up riptide warnings.” In the 2005 Supreme Court ruling, it was noted that Miami was responsible for warning individuals going to these public beaches of dangerous conditions such as riptides. It was also noted that the city allegedly hired a lifeguard soon after the 1997 drowning incidents.

Miami’s insurance provider, Monticello, a Delaware-based insurance company, reportedly decided not to defend Miami Beach after the 2007 Supreme Court ruling, and could still appeal U.S. District Judge Alan Gold’s ruling from late Friday December 11, 2009.

Legal News Reporter: Sandra Quinlan- Legal News for Florida Personal Injury Lawyers.

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