Miami-Dade County

Parents of two men on Jose Fernandez’s boat sue pitcher’s estate for $2 million each

Miami Marlins' pitcher Jose Fernandez, gestures to the stands as he celebrates the Marlins’ 4-1 victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Marlins Park in Little Havana in Miami on Sept. 09, 2016. The families of two men who were with Jose Fernandez on his boat when it crashed are suing Fernandez’s estate.
Miami Marlins' pitcher Jose Fernandez, gestures to the stands as he celebrates the Marlins’ 4-1 victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Marlins Park in Little Havana in Miami on Sept. 09, 2016. The families of two men who were with Jose Fernandez on his boat when it crashed are suing Fernandez’s estate. pportal@miamiherald.com

The parents of two men on the boat with Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez when it crashed, killing all on board, are suing his estate, according to the Sun Sentinel.

A boat in which José Fernandez was traveling early Sunday morning struck a jetty at the mouth of Government Cut full speed and flipped, killing him and two friends.

Investigators haven’t said who was driving Fernandez’s boat in the early morning crash on Sept. 25, but when the “Kaught Looking” smashed into the stone jetty that protects the channel between the PortMiami and the sea, it took Fernandez, 24, his friend Eduardo Rivero and acquaintance Emilio Jesus Macias with it.

READ MORE: Everything seemed right in Jose Fernandez’s life. Then it all went wrong.

Families of Rivero, 25, and Macias, 27, are filing negligence and personal injury lawsuits in Miami for $2 million each, the Sentinel reported. Late last month, Fernandez’s mother petitioned to take over his estate, which is valued between $2 million and $3 million.

Their joint attorney, Christopher Royer, told the paper that Rivero’s family’s claim was filed Friday and Macias’ will be filed Monday.

“The Rivero and Macias families are deeply scarred by the loss of their sons,” Royer said in a news release on Friday. “We remain open to a settlement and are hopeful a prompt resolution can be achieved to spare these families, and that of Jose Fernandez too, from any additional suffering.”

READ MORE: Jose Fernandez’s two companions remembered as talented, kind

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which investigates boating accidents, has not yet completed its final report on the accident.

At the time of the accident, Fernandez was legally drunk and had cocaine in his system, reports from the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Office show. The other men on board had alcohol in their system, but neither was legally drunk. Rivero also had cocaine in his system, the report said.

READ MORE: Marlins star Jose Fernandez was legally drunk, had cocaine in blood when he died, medical examiner says

The All-Star pitcher’s longtime family friend and lawyer, Ralph Fernandez, has said Fernandez was not driving the boat at the time of the crash. His proof: a witness who was on the phone with Jose Fernandez when he crashed.

His attorney said that the witness heard the pitcher tell the boat driver to “go left, go left,” and moments later, communications ceased.” He believes Macias, whom Fernandez had just met that evening, was driving the boat.

Fernandez’ lawyer told the Sun Sentinel on Friday, “There are indications that his cocaine use that night was not voluntary.”

Thousands of fans gathered on Sept. 28, 2016 to bid farewell to Jose Fernandez as his funeral procession stopped at Ermita de la Caridad and St. Brendan Catholic Church.

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