CORAL GABLES, Fla. - The family of Darrell Brackett, who was set on fire outside a Miami gas station, is suing the gas station for negligence.
Members of the Brackett family and attorneys from Haggard Law Firm discussed the lawsuit Wednesday.
"He said, 'You know I love you.' He said, 'You know I love you,'" said Bridgett Brackett, the victim's mother. "He said, 'You be cool. I got to make my rounds. I've got to go say merry Christmas to everybody,' and that's the last time I saw him with a smile on his face."
Darrell Brackett ran out of gas and went to the U-Gas gas station off Northwest 47th Street and 27th Avenue to fill up a can, police say. That's when the 44-year-old man got into a fight with three men. The group doused Brackett in gasoline, set him on fire and took off.
One man was questioned in the attack. He was not charged.
Brackett suffered burns on 75 percent of his body. He died Feb. 15 from his injuries.
According to the Haggard Law Firm, the U-Gas is located on the same street as another gas station where Trinard Snell was shot and killed in 2009. Attorneys say Urbieta Oil Co. owns both gas stations, and nothing to improve security was done after Snell was killed.
"On December 7th of last year, our firm received a $5.7 million verdict against the gas station owned by Urbieta Oil on behalf of the family of Trinard Snell who was killed while working at a car wash," said attorney Todd Michaels. "The car wash he was working at was located at a gas station that the Urbietas owned just up the street, also on 27th Avenue. Despite the horrific crime problem on their premises and despite this verdict against them, Urbieta Oil refused to take any action whatsoever to make their property safe."
Ignacio M. Urbieta, the general counsel of Urbieta Oil Co., released a statement Wednesday, saying: "Urbieta Oil is a family business that sells fuel at South Florida gas stations, including those displaying our U-Gas brand. We express our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Darrell Brackett, the victim of a heinous crime committed near a U-Gas station on 27th Avenue in Miami. We support police in their efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice.
The Haggard Law Firm represents Mr. Brackett in a lawsuit against our company and others. This morning, lawyers held a press conference in an apparent effort to sway public opinion outside of court. The Haggard Law Firm alleged unsubstantiated facts about the incident and made dishonest statements disparaging our personal ethics. We vehemently deny their version of events and will address their accusations at the appropriate time and place. Most importantly, we would like to emphasize that safety is and always has been our priority."
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