Parents Win $12 Million for Son’s Fatal Bike Accident
A couple has won an $12 million verdict against their South Florida condo association and management company for not following regulations that could have prevented the death of their son who was killed while riding his bike in the complex.
Andrew Curtis was riding his bike with his father on the Jupiter, Fla., condo premises of Villas on the Green, when the 9-year-old was hit by a car driven by another condo resident, Helen Bygel.
Everyone agreed that Bygel was at fault for the accident that killed Curtis, but Andrew’s parents, Tracy Curtis and Andre Kovacs, also blamed the condo association and management company, M.M.I. of the Palm Beaches, arguing that they did not follow traffic regulations like putting stop signs at the proper height and maintaining hedges.
“The condo management company blatantly ignored traffic codes,” said the couple’s attorney, Greg Barnhart, of Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley. “For years, they chose to overlook simple fixes – like maintaining safe hedge height and placing stop signs within driver sight lines. The building driveway became the scene of a terrible tragedy because such basic common-sense safeguards were neglected.”
The jury found the management company 60 percent at fault, the condo association 30 percent to blame, and Bygel 10 percent liable for the total $12 million in damages owed the parents.
“We can never fill the void that Andrew’s parents must live with every day but, with this jury verdict, we’ve given them at least a portion of the justice they deserve,” said Barnhart.