The families of Eduardo Rivero and Emilio Jesus Macias of Miami-Dade County, Florida, who died in a boat crash with Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, have filed negligence and personal injury lawsuits against the athlete’s estate. The families are seeking $2 million each.
The accident occurred on the morning of September 25 last year on the north jetty of Government Cut off the coast of Miami Beach. Fernandez, 24, was the owner of the boat. He met Rivero, 25, and Macias, 27, through his girlfriend. Macias worked at Wells Fargo and Rivero did sales at Carnival Cruise Lines.
The three men had reportedly been drinking at a bar in downtown Miami before they went for a ride on Fernandez’s boat. There’s no official report on who was driving, but Fernandez’s family attorney has argued that the ace pitcher was not the driver. He believes that the findings of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s investigation will back up that claim.
News sources say an investigator from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission wrote in a search warrant request that it was her opinion alcohol increased the risks and that the boat’s driver was “driving recklessly in the dark around the jetty.”
According to court documents, the bodies of all three men had a “strong odor of alcohol.” A toxicology report from the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Office revealed that Fernandez had cocaine and alcohol in his system at the time of the crash. The pitcher purportedly had a blood alcohol level of .14, which is almost twice the legal amount in Florida. The report also revealed that Rivero’s level was .06 and Macias’ level was .04, meaning neither would be considered legally drunk.
Fernandez was a Cuban native who moved to the U.S. in 2008. The Miami Marlins drafted him in 2011 and he played his first major league season in 2013. He was also named National League Rookie of the Year in that year. He became a U.S. citizen in 2015.
Fernandez’s estate has an estimated value of $2 to $3 million. His mother, Maritza Gomez Fernandez, filed a petition last month to administer his estate. Fernandez died just days after announcing that he and his girlfriend were expecting.