Families of 2 men killed in boat crash settle lawsuit against estate of Jose Fernandez
Terms of settlement are confidential
MIAMI – The families of two men who were killed two years ago in a boating crash along with Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez have settled a lawsuit against the late athlete's estate.
According to the Sun-Sentinel, the lawsuit was settled Tuesday on what would have been Fernandez's 26th birthday.
A mediator's report stated that the terms of the settlement are confidential.
Attorney Ralph Fernandez, no relation, previously told reporters this year that the athlete's mother,
Maritza Fernandez, is suffering financially as her southwest Miami-Dade County home is in foreclosure. He said Jose Fernandez's baby daughter, Penelope, has received no money.
Ralph Fernandez had previously filed a 167-page response to the multimillion-dollar lawsuit holding Jose Fernandez responsible for the deaths of Emilio Macias, 27, and Eduardo Rivero, 25, in the high-speed boat crash.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's final report said Jose Fernandez was operating the boat when it crashed into a jetty at Government Cut on Sept. 25, 2016.
The report found the 32-foot center console boat, named Kaught Looking, was traveling at 65 mph when it crashed.
Investigators said Jose Fernandez's DNA was found on the boat's steering wheel and throttle, leading them to conclude Jose Fernandez was operating the boat in "a reckless manner."
An autopsy found that he had been using cocaine and alcohol before the crash.
Ralph Fernandez's lawsuit alleged investigators planted evidence to make it appear Jose Fernandez was driving the boat. The lawsuit also maintained that someone spiked Jose Fernandez's drinks with illegal drugs before the crash.
"I think there was an evolution in this case from a mistake to a cover-up. And then a creation to defend the position," Ralph Fernandez said.
Ralph Fernandez said the FWC report has led to consequences.
"There was supposed to be a street naming, a park, a statue and now, because of the bad info in this report going public, it's all gone," Ralph Fernandez said.
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