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Oppenheim Pilelsky Sues Broward Sheriff’s Office and City of Weston and Demands Public Inquest in Connection with Drowning.

Mon Oct 2, 2000 by on Uncategorized

Oppenheim Pilelsky Sues Broward Sheriff’s Office and City of Weston and Demands Public Inquest in Connection with Drowning.

70-year old Weston man drowns in canal off of I-75 because BSO “drops the ball” in accident investigation

Weston, FL (October 2, 2000) — The family of 70-year old Dr. Dario Restrepo, a well-respected public health official and dentist who helped millions of poor people in South America, is suing the Broward Sheriff’s Office for negligence in his death. “BSO dropped the ball in investigating the car accident that resulted in Mr. Restrepo’s death,” said attorney Roy Oppenheim, who’s representing the family in the lawsuit. “Mr. Restrepo’s drowning death could likely have been avoided had BSO acted in a prudent manner and followed proper protocol.”

Dr. Restrepo died in his car after the vehicle veered off I-75 into a canal in Weston shortly after 1 A.M. Saturday during a driving rainstorm. A witness tracked down a BSO deputy minutes later to report the accident, but Mr. Restrepo wasn’t found until six hours later, by a passing FHP trooper. By that time, he had already drowned. “BSO’s investigation into the accident was negligent. They searched for the car in all the wrong places, and gave up too early after declaring the report unfounded. BSO failed to notify Fire Rescue or the Florida Highway Patrol. The witness even volunteered to take the deputy to the exact site of the accident but he refused.”

Dr. Dario Restrepo, a Colombian native, is a former public health official with the World Health Organization who dedicated his medical career to the advancement of oral health. In the 1950’s he helped give rural South Americans preventative dental care, by discovering a way to add fluoride to salt supplies. At the time of his death, he was working on plans to establish an international public health program at Nova Southeastern University. On Friday, just hours before the accident, Dario Restrepo got a new lease on life when he learned that a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer turned out to be false.

Mr. Restrepo’s accident comes less than two months after authorities searched for, but failed to find 83-year old Tillie Tutor who’s car plunged off of I-595. Tooter was trapped for three days before being found by a road worker. “As a citizen and taxpayer I am deeply disturbed about the lack of concern and response from our public safety officers,” said Mr. Oppenheim. Co-counsel Alan Ross commented that “This is tragedy that might have been avoided and through this lawsuit we will make sure that this never happens to another family again”.

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Oppenheim is a partner in the firm, along with his wife Ellen Pilelsky. Oppenheim & Pilelsky, the oldest law firm in Weston, is a general practice concentrating in real estate, litigation and consumer related matters. The firm is suing Firestone Tire & Rubber Company on behalf of all Florida residents who have been subject to the recall of defective tires. The law firm of Oppenheim & Pilelsky is located at: 1290 Weston Road, Suite 300, Weston, FL 33326 (954) 384-6114.

/Contact: Todd Templin or Christine Manna at Boardroom Communications, 954-370-8999, for Oppenheim & Pilelsky.