Lawsuit: Boat driver drank, gave teens alcohol before deadly crash in Biscayne Bay

MIAMI – The parents of a girl who was among roughly a dozen injured in a September boat crash in Biscayne Bay filed a lawsuit against the adults supervising the children, as well as the volunteer fire department that responded to the scene.

The crash also killed 17-year-old Lucy Fernandez.

The 35-page lawsuit was filed by the parents of Katerina Puig, a Lourdes Academy student, who, according to the lawsuit, was permanently disabled in the crash.

The suit places blame on George Pino, who took out the 29-foot boat to celebrate his daughter’s birthday over Labor Day weekend last year.

Fourteen people were onboard, including Pino’s wife, Cecilia, who is also named in the suit.

The lawsuit says Pino was speeding when he ran into a channel marker in Cutter Bank, ejecting all on board.

The lawsuit states that the Pinos, who were supposed to be supervising the group of teenaged girls, bought and allowed them to consume alcohol.

It also alleges that Pino “refused a blood draw and/or breathalyzer testing after the order to conceal the fact that he had consumed alcohol to the extent that his normal faculties were impaired.”

The lawsuit also points fingers at the Ocean Reef Volunteer Fire Department.

It alleges they got the call at 6:53 p.m., but weren’t dispatched until 7:55 and didn’t arrive until 8:01.

The suit states that Katerina Puig, who family members said suffered head trauma and almost drowned after being ejected from the boat, did not arrive at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital until around 9 p.m.

Local 10 News has reached out to attorneys representing the defendants in the case, but has not received a response.

Read the full lawsuit:

About the Authors:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba. 

Chris Gothner joined the Local 10 News team in 2022 as a Digital Journalist.