CHICAGO (JGL) – The heirs of the four Filipinos who died nearly two years ago on board a car that collided with another car driven on a wrong way by a fleeing motorist pursued by a Florida police car had come forward to file a civil suit against the driver, the pursuing police officer, the owner of the wayward car, the city, including the city’s chief of police, the mayor and the board of commissioners.
Named in the complaint filed before the Circuit Court of the 11th Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County in Florida were Willie Dumel, 27, driver of the wayward 2013 Chevrolet Suburban car; Rodney Barlatier, the owner of the wayward car; and Sergio Perez, police officer of Opa-Locka City of Miami-Dade County, who pursued Dumel.
Also named defendants were the City of Opa-Locka and those who acted “at all pertinent times its employees, agents, ostensible agents, apparent agents, including but not limited to defendant Sergio Perez, all of whom acted within the course and scope of such,” the City’s Risk Management Department, the Florida Department of Financial Services, Jeff Key, the Opa-Locka Chief of Police; Opa-Locka Mayor Myra Taylor and the Board of County Commissioners of the City Commission Chambers.
These defendants were given “six months to investigate the claims, after which time a response to this claim is required. In the event there is no response, accepting or denying this claim, the claim will be deemed denied. It is our intention to go forward with litigation in the event this matter cannot be resolved within six (6) month notice period,” according to a lawsuit filed by Joseph N. Nusbaum of the Brotman Nusbaum Ibrahim Law Offices in Boca Raton, Florida.
KILLED ON APRIL 3, 2013
Killed in the fiery accident last April 3, 2013 were Dennis Ryan Rinon Ortiz, 33, international sales director of Alveo Land, a subsidiary of Philippine-based Ayala Land Company; Ortiz’s Alveo subordinate associate, Lily Marie Azarcon, 26, both of the Philippines, a single mother of an eight-year old child, Katelyn Rhia Hernandez; Azarcon’s friend, Albertson Anthony Almase, 31, a Petty Officer 2nd Class of the U.S. Navy, residing in Yokosuka, Japan and owning assets in Florida; and Almase’s little sister, Kristina Almase, 26, a former resident of Cebu in the Philippines, who just relocated to Fort Lauderdale, Florida prior to the accident.
The survivors of the victims filed wrongful death complaint for damages and “compensatory damages, interest or liquidated damages and demands trial by jury of all issues.”
Perez was being blamed for pursuing Dumel when Dumel “made an improper right-hand turn at or near N.W. 22ND Ave. and 143rd St. in Miami-Dade County” although “(u)nder this (sic) circumstances, Perez could not have reasonably believed that Defendant Dumel had committed a forcible felony as defined by Florida Statute 776.08.
“Perez pursued Dumel in a manner that was willful and wanton by chasing Dumel so that both of them were traveling at high speed heading north into a southbound lanes of I-95 at or near Ives Dairy Road in Miami-Dade County.
“Traveling at high speed on a wrong way, on I-95 is a reckless act of Perez to do as well as his causing Dumel to travel in the same direction.
“As a result of Perez’ actions, Dumel crashed into a motor vehicle” carrying all the four Filipino victims, who all died on the spot.
Barlatier is being blamed for “for allowing Dumel to drive his vehicle, who used it in wrongful manner by driving the wrong way,” that collided with a 2013 Kia Sorento being driven by Ortiz.
The lawsuit was brought by Constantine Azarcon on behalf of Lily Marie Azarcon and Azarcon’s eight-year-old daughter, Katelyn Rhia Hernandez; Caesar V. Almase and Rhodalyn Garcia, co-personal representatives of Albertson Anthony Almase, on behalf of Albertson’s parents, Albert Almase and Darlina Enciso Almase; Mary Rachelle Rinon Ortiz, personal representative of Dennis Ryan Rinon-Ortiz, on behalf of Dennis’ children Carlo Ryley Ortiz, 3 years old; and Ashton Ry Castillo, 8 years old.
Meanwhile, Dumel is facing a criminal jury trial starting March 9 before Judge Alberto Milian of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Florida for four counts of manslaughter, driving with suspended license that resulted in death; arson in the second degree; use of fraudulent ID; and four counts of vehicular homicide for failure to stop.