Wrongful Death Action in Puerto Rico – Evidence Missing But Case Pursued

Establishing liability was extremely difficult. There were no witnesses and no video of the fatal fall, and the swing set that caused it was gone. The case was in Puerto Rico. Here, at Terrell • Hogan Yegelwel, we needed co-counsel there to help the victim’s daughter. After a diligent search, we identified Doris Quinones-Tridas as the right lawyer to take on this challenging case. Suit was filed and litigation was spearheaded by Ms. Quinones-Tridas. Through diligent efforts she overcame the difficult evidentiary issues and the motion to end the lawsuit by summary judgment. Although a magistrate judge recommended judgment for the defendant, Ms. Quinones-Tridas persuaded the court with her well-reasoned legal arguments and extensive case law to allow the case to go forward. The court saw the important impact of the mishandled and lost evidence. Thereafter, the case was settled without further litigation.

Wayne Hogan, president of Terrell • Hogan, praised Doris Quinones-Tridas for her determined, effective efforts and complimented experienced Terrell • Hogan paralegal Joseph Jones for identifying Ms. Quinones-Tridas as the right lawyer to represent our mutual client.

What Happened

Plaintiff’s father was at a large retail store when he sat in a swing set in an in-store display, fell back and struck his head because, plaintiff alleged, the swing set was either poorly installed or defective. Although store personnel responded to the accident scene, there was no offer of medical care, no 911 call and the store’s customer went home. Later that day that customer, plaintiff’s father, was taken to an emergency room and hospitalized. He died several days later from the head trauma he had sustained.

Plaintiff alleged that store personnel failed to offer medical care or call 911, and also failed to make an incident report. Plaintiff further alleged that the store failed to follow its own protocols for incidents of this nature. An investigation report and video surveillance potentially documenting the incident could not be produced, and the store had no explanation.

Our Approach

For over 40 years our firm has handled thousands of cases, most of them are in Florida, many in Georgia, but when someone calls for help elsewhere, we do our best to get the right help. Our “leave no stone unturned” philosophy has always been the key to success for our clients. At Terrell • Hogan we fight for justice just as hard whether the case is big or small because for each individual client their case is their only case. Since it’s important to them, it’s important to us.

About The Author

Laura Hack

Laura Hack

Laura Hack is a paralegal with Terrell • Hogan. She has been with the firm since 1996 and has worked primarily for Wayne Hogan. She is an experienced Paralegal with 30+ years of working in the law practice industry. Skilled in Appeals, Civil Trial Litigation Support, Torts, Trial Practice, and Pleadings.