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Families of victims in deadly Jose Fernandez crash settle lawsuit against his estate

Former Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez was found to be under the influence when he boat crashed in 2016, killing all three men aboard. (AP Photo)

The families of the two men who were killed in addition to MLB pitcher Jose Fernandez in a 2016 boat crash have settled their lawsuit against his estate, according to the Associated Press.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission found that Fernandez was operating the boat when it crashed off Miami Beach on September 25, 2016. A toxicology report released by the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner Department a month later showed that Fernandez had cocaine in his system, and had a blood alcohol level of almost twice the legal limit at the time of his death, when he was said to be operating the boat at 65 miles per hour.

The families of Emilio Macias and Eduardo Rivero, the other men in the crash, filed the wrongful death suit against Fernandez’s estate early last year. The men were not found to have been legally drunk at the time of the crash, though Rivero was also found to have had cocaine in his blood. 

“There are no winners in this process,” attorney Christopher Royer, who represents the Macias and Rivero estates, told the Sun-Sentinel. “Three young men in their prime were suddenly gone. The scars are forever.”

In answer to the suit, Fernandez’s lawyer wrote a lengthy response alleging that Fernandez had been framed as responsible for the crash. He also suggested that his drink had been spiked with illegal drugs, and argued that Fernandez was on the phone with a friend who claims he was not steering just moments before the crash. 

The settlement details are being held confidential, but Fernandez’s lawyer said he was “happy” with the outcome.

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