HLF Letter

Haggard Law Firm > HLF Letter

$24.5 Million Verdict in Medical Malpractice/Wrongful Death Case

Ft. Lauderdale, Fla – Following a four-day trial, that included only two hours of deliberation, a Broward County jury has awarded $24.5 million to the family of a mother of four children who died due to avoidable complications during childbirth caused by a condition the medical team was aware of before the surgery.

Litigation and trial team including Haggard Law’s Todd Michaels on the left standing with Rodolfo Torres to his right.

On July 21, 2015 Lilia Torres arrived at Premiere Perinatal Associates for a scheduled C-section which was delayed until the 22nd. During the procedure, she suffered massive blood loss due to a condition, placenta previa, which had been diagnosed months earlier and was managed throughout the pregnancy. A hysterectomy was performed due to the massive blood loss.

The baby was delivered on July 22, but Lilia went into cardiac and pulmonary shock with severe hypoxia due to the blood loss. She was placed on a vent and began receiving blood cells and plasma. She returned to the operating room for exploratory surgery and passed away on  July 22nd, 2015 resulting from the hemorrhagic shock and multi-organ failure.

Lilia Torres

 She left behind her husband Rodolfo and four minor children, three girls and one boy. Lilia was the caretaker of her entire family.

Attorney Daniel Harwin, an attorney from Freedland, Harwin, Valori, represented the Torres family and tried the case alongside co-counsel Todd Michaels of The Haggard Law Firm.

The defendants in the case included:  Adolfo Gonzalez-Garcia, M.D., Jerry Gilles, M.D., Jorge Gallo, M.D., Julio Coello, M.D., Kei Nakanishi, M.D., Phoenix Obstetrics Gynecology, Llc, Emcare, Inc., Premiere Perinatal Associates, P.A. and Envision Healthcare Corporation.

A personal note from Michael Haggard

On October 6th, 2018, I celebrated my 2nd Kidneyversary! I could only do that due to God’s grace and my brother-in-law, Major Allen Buckhalt (US Army Blackhawk Pilot and Iraq/Afghanistan war Veteran), who was a match to donate his kidney and save my life. As all of you know (because you have been there for me and my family this whole time), I have polycystic kidney disease (PKD), a genetic, life-threatening and incurable disease. There are only two treatments, dialysis or a kidney transplant. Most PKD patients have to go on dialysis and suffer debilitating effects. The PKD Foundation is changing all that as we march towards treatment and a cure!

It is not lost on me that I am now 100% back to normal and Allen is proudly serving once again. Living kidney donation is phenomenal and we need to encourage everyone to give life. Thanks in part to your help, the FDA recently approved JYNARQUE™, the first treatment in the United States for adult patients with the most common form of PKD (ADPKD). It has been show to preserve kidney function and slow the development of cysts. There are also clinical trials ongoing to develop not only a treatment, but a cure!

The curse of this disease is also a blessing. PKD is genetic. Both Maddie and Carson each have a 50% chance of inheriting this disease, and as you can imagine that “haunts” me each night. But even if you told me tomorrow that Maddie and Carson were in the clear, we would never stop fighting this fight. All you have to do is see the devastating effects of PKD on families. I have lost my maternal grandmother, uncle and mother to this disease and I intend on beating it out of existence! Because it is genetic and we are able to isolate the gene, we have made advances that have never been accomplished in other disease research.

This year we are hosting our 9th Annual PKD Kidney Casino for a Cure! Last year we raised nearly $120,000 for the PKD Foundation, and this year, with your help, we hope to surpass that goal!

Bekki and I chair the PKD Founders Council, where we are accelerating efforts to have every dollar raised go immediately towards PKD research. With your incredible help, over the past decade we have raised close to $600,000, funding multiple PKD research projects! We will find a cure for PKD in my lifetime. I have been given a second chance at life and I will not waste it. I know you will help us with our goal. Many of you have donated in the past and we desperately need your help again! Please do what you did last year or, if you can, do even more!

I cannot thank each of you enough for your past support and hope that you will continue to support our efforts this year. We want all of you to come to the event on Saturday, May 4th, but if you cannot, please look at the sponsorship levels and consider being there in spirit with us! No donation is too small. Checks should be made payable to the PKD Foundation and can be mailed directly to The Haggard Law Firm, 330 Alhambra Circle, Coral Gables, FL 33134. ATTN: Stacy Laffere. The link below also allows you to RSVP, purchase a sponsorship, purchase individual tickets or donate directly to the PKD Foundation. The Kidney Casino Night is live on the PKD Foundation’s website so you can RSVP and register online using a credit card! Visit  

                Thank you so much for your consideration of a donation to this worthy cause!    

                                                                                               Sincerely,                                                                                                 Michael Haggard

PRESS CONFERENCE: Lawsuit Against Credit Union in ATM Murder Case

Family of Local Librarian Murdered in ATM Robbery to Announce Negligent Security Lawsuit Against Credit Union

Reward For Information Leading to Killer(s) Increases to $23,000

Miami Gardens, Fla – The family of Jaime Humet, who was killed on December 10th, 2018 while leaving the ATM of the Dade County Federal Credit Union located at 20645 NW 2nd Avenue in Miami Gardens, says the business did not have sufficient security measures in place to prevent the tragedy that claimed the life of their beloved Jaime.

Humet’s mother Pilar and brother Nick will be joined by their attorneys Pedro Echarte of The Haggard Law Firm and Angel Diaz of Kirschner, Groff & Diaz for a press conference on Wednesday March 27th at 11am just off the property of the Credit Union (attached picture of location). The family and their attorneys will discuss what security measures should have been taken long before the murder of the 47-year-old Miami-Dade County librarian whose mother describes as an “angel.” It was “a foreseeable crime considering the nature of the business and its location in a notoriously high crime area” says Echarte.

The family will also plead for the public’s help to assist the Miami Gardens Police Department catch those responsible for taking their loved one’s life. Miami-Dade, Florida Keys Crime Stoppers has increased the reward for information leading to the capture of the killer(s) to $23,000 (flyer attached to email).Attached to email:

Press Conference Contact: J.P. Hervis 305.321.4293 (CELL)

Nearly $5 Million Jury Verdict Against Royal Caribbean in Passenger Death

Miami, FL – Late Thursday, following a four-day trial,  a federal court jury in Miami delivered a $4.8 million verdict against Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines in the death of passenger Richard Puchalski.

A cruise to Alaska in July of 2016 is how the Puchalski family chose to enjoy the 70th birthday of its patriarch Richard. But that celebration vacation aboard RCCL’s Explorer of The Seas turned into a traumatic tragedy when Puchalski suffered a massive cardiac arrest.

Michael Haggard and Todd Michaels of The Haggard Law Firm in Coral Gables and co-counsel Phil Parrish,  argued to the jury that the massive cardiac event was the direct result of decisions made by RCCL‘s shipboard doctor, Dr. Amanda Sanders. Puchalski went to the ship’s infirmary in the midst of a serious but treatable cardiac incident.

$2 Million Negligent Security Settlement Involving Victim who was Stabbed 12 Times

$2 Million Settlement in Negligent Security Case Involving Apartment Complex that Didn’t Remove Problem Resident Before He Stabbed Plaintiff 12 Times

Pompano Beach, FL – Patricia Norris never knew the danger she entered when she moved to the Palm Aire Gardens Apartments in late 2016.  For nearly ten months the manager of the complex had received complaints from multiple young female residents that a resident named Charles Gipson was threatening, harassing, and stalking them. One resident even took out a restraining order against him. Despite the warnings, neither the Palm Aire Gardens Condominium Association nor property managers (First Service Residential Florida) took any steps to keep residents safe from Gipson.

Safety Questions To Ask Your Landlord

How Safe Is the Apartment You Want to Rent? Key Questions to Ask a Landlord Before Signing a Lease

A sense of security and safety for you and your family is key to making a house feel like a home.

Unfortunately, many landlords don’t provide, and in some cases aren’t legally required to share, crime and safety information to a potential tenant.

“Along with costs and amenities, tenants should be prepared to ask a variety of questions about safety measures before signing a lease and moving into a new apartment or home” says Michael Haggard. Haggard is the Managing Partner of The Haggard Law Firm ( which has made a mark successfully representing tenants who are injured or killed by someone committing a crime that could have been prevented if the landlord of the property where the crime occurs had taken proper security measures.

PRESS CONFERENCE: Teenage Victims of Sex Assault By Teacher Suing School Board

Mothers of Victims to Discuss New Lawsuits Against Miami -Dade County School Board On Behalf of Teenagers Sexually Assaulted By Middle School Teacher

This is the first time these mothers have spoken out.

Miami, FL – A lawsuit was recently filed against the School Board of Miami-Dade County on behalf of a teenage female victim (Jane Doe) who was sexually assaulted by former Brownsville Middle School physical education teacher Wendell Nibbs.

Beginning in her 6th grade school year and continuing through the end of her 8th grade school year at Brownsville Middle (2013 through 2016), Nibbs sexually harassed, sexually assaulted and raped Jane Doe. The assaults and rape occurred on school premises. Nibbs also sent Jane Doe sexually explicit photographs of himself.

The mother of Jane Doe will be joined by the mother of Jan Doe at a press conference to be held Monday January 7, 2019 outside of the Miami-Dade County School Building in downtown Miami.

In 2016, while in 8th grade, Jan Doe was sexually harassed, assaulted and discriminated against (on the basis of her sexual orientation) by Nibbs on school property. Jan Doe’s lawsuit will be filed later this month.

Pedro Echarte of The Haggard Law Firm and Aaron A. Karger of the Law Offices of Aaron A. Karger represent the victims and say they will also file a third case against the School Board on behalf of another victim.  The attorneys say the school and School Board were well aware of Nibbs’ inappropriate and illegal behavior, as well as the risk he posed to young female students, and did nothing about it. The attorneys believe there may be other victims, suffering in shame and silence.

Between 2004 and 2016, Nibbs had been accused by at least six different female middle school students of making inappropriate sexual comments, engaging in inappropriate physical contact of a sexual nature, and sending or showing them sexually explicit photographs. Despite these separate accusations Nibbs was permitted to remain at Brownsville Middle as a teacher.


*The mothers of both victims are requesting that their faces and distinguishing marks do not appear on camera.

Date: Monday, January 7, 2019

Press Conference start: Noon

Location: Outside the Miami-Dade County School Board Building- Downtown, 1450 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33132

Press Conference Speakers:

  • Mother of Jane Doe
  • Mother of Jan Doe
  • Pedro Echarte, The Haggard Law Firm
  • Aaron A. Karger, Law Offices of Aaron A. Karger

 CONTACT: J.P. HERVIS, 305.321.4293,

Press Conference: Mother of 12-Year-Old Who Was Kidnapped & Murdered Files Neglient Security Lawsuit

Press Conference Scheduled 12/18/18

Mother of a 12 Year Old Murdered By a Convicted Sex Offender Says Owners/Managers of an Apartment Complex Could Have Prevented the Tragedy

Pensacola, FL – Shantara Hurry, the mother of 12-year-old Naomi Jones, who police say was murdered by convicted sex offender Robert Howard in 2017, is filing a negligent security lawsuit against those responsible for the apartment complex where her daughter was kidnapped.

Jones went missing from her apartment located at 1460 E. Johnson Avenue in Pensacola, Florida on May 31, 2017. The disappearance captivated and mobilized the community to find Naomi. Her remains were eventually found in an Escambia County creek on June 5. Two days later, Howard was arrested and charged with the kidnapping and murder. The 39-year-old convicted sex offender lived in the same complex as the 12-year-old girl and her family.

The lawsuit against the owners of that apartment complex, Aspen Village Acquisition, and the management company, Progressive Management of America, highlights that the two companies should have known or knew that they were allowing a convicted sex offender, Howard, to live in the complex.  The lawsuit  adds that apartment ownership and management “breached its duty of reasonable care by permitting an unregistered sex offender to reside upon the Premises, thus allowing the offender continual, unfettered access to young children and others upon whom persons with his predilections are known to prey.”

The Haggard Law Firm is representing Jones’ mother in the case. Trial lawyer Christopher Marlowe (email says for the family the press conference and lawsuit is about holding everyone accountable for this tragic loss and preventing it from happening again.

“Ms. Hurry wants to bring attention to this civil action (lawsuit) in hopes that it will motivate all apartment complex owners and managers to exercise actionable, logical and moral care by never allowing offenders to live in their property, giving them access to children,” says Marlowe.


Press/Media Conference Details

  • 11 AM on Tuesday, December 18th, 2018
  •  820 North 12th Avenue Pensacola FL 32501 (Law Office of Samuel Bearman)
  • Speaking:  Shantara Hurry, Naomi Jones’ mother,  Christopher Marlowe, The Haggard Law Firm, Trial Lawyer
  • News Media contact: J.P. Hervis, Brandstory Communications,

REPORT: Code Red Confusion By School Employees on Day of Mass Shooting

According to a report by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, employees at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were “tragically unprepared” to best protect students on the day of the mass shooting that killed 17 people and injured 17 others. The newspapers reports that the lack of preparation was due to “inadequate training and unclear procedures in the school district.”

The lack of a coherent, uniform policy is one of the major failures identified by a state commission investigating the Feb. 14 massacre.

The paper learned that district officials were unsure as to whether a “Code Red” meant an “active killer”. It does not.