Florida Keys

A lawyer who won a $10 million case just bought cops ‘the Cadillac of drones’

Andy Yaffa, Key West Fire Chief Michael Davila, Fire Marshal Alan Averette, attorney Stuart Grossman, Police Capt. Sean Brandenburg and attorney Bill Mulligan show the drone.
Andy Yaffa, Key West Fire Chief Michael Davila, Fire Marshal Alan Averette, attorney Stuart Grossman, Police Capt. Sean Brandenburg and attorney Bill Mulligan show the drone.

A Key West attorney whose firm this month wrangled a $10.75 million settlement from a local resort has donated a $3,000 drone to the city’s police and fire departments.

It was the same drone, a DJI Phantom 4, that Stuart Grossman’s legal team used to investigate a diving incident that left their client paralyzed from the neck down at the Galleon Resort.

Key West Fire Marshal Alan Averette noticed the drone and pronounced it fantastic, Grossman said.

“He wasn’t asking for it. So we bought him the same one we have, which is the Cadillac of drones,” Grossman said Monday evening at City Hall, after gifting the drone to police and fire officials. “I think they’ll make great use of it.”

DJI boasts its Phantom can fly for up to 30 minutes at a time and can sense obstacles in five directions.

Drone operation in Key West requires an FAA permit and the pilot must be trained and licensed, said city spokeswoman Alyson Crean.

“Grossman is also donating the training for an operator from each department,” Crean said. “The departments are establishing policy guidelines for the use of the equipment.”

Grossman, Roth, Yaffa and Cohen brokered the $10.75 million settlement on behalf of Bob Barlow of Massachusetts, who dove into shallow water and sued over the fact there were no signs warning against it.

Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen

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