Family files wrongful death lawsuit over Tampa Bay motorcyclist’s death

The family of Keith Williamson, a motorcyclist who was killed in a crash, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) and the Clearwater Police Department.

The crash involved a high-speed chase on the Courtney Campbell Causeway Bridge in the Tampa Bay area. Williamson was riding at the front of a group of motorcyclists, and police reports recorded that a Clearwater police officer clocked him at 120 miles per hour. The officer, Nick Giordano, reached a speed of 145 mph chasing Williamson. The family claims that Giordano’s pursuit was reckless.

Williamson’s motorcycle crashed into the back of a Florida Highway Patrol cruiser that was stationed at a construction zone. An FHP report found Williamson at fault for the accident. Williamson’s father believes that the FHP cruiser deliberately pulled in front of his son.

Both the Florida Highway Patrol and the Clearwater Police Department are named as defendants in the wrongful death lawsuit.

The Clearwater Police Department would not comment on the lawsuit, but records show that Giordano was disciplined after the crash for attempting to stop two different drivers when the speed of the motorcyclists indicated a “reckless disregard” for the safety of the public.

Settlement reached in Florida brain injury case

All parties have reached a settlement in a lawsuit filed by the families of two teenage girls who suffered brain injuries after a parasailing accident at a Florida beach resort.

Alexis Fairchild and Sidney Good were both 17 and vacationing in Florida in 2013 when their parasail broke loose from a motorboat, causing them to drift through the air, striking a condominium building and dropping onto cars in a parking lot. The girls suffered severe brain injuries and have needed extensive rehabilitation.

Their families filed a lawsuit against the rental company, the parasailing company, the condominium where the families were staying, and the manufacturer and wholesaler of the tow rope. Attorneys for the families said that the amount of the settlement was confidential and was equal for both girls. They stressed that although the girls will be secure for the rest of their lives, the settlement was by no means a windfall. The funds will be needed to pay for medical treatment and basic needs. Due to their brain injuries, Good has ongoing vision problems and Fairchild has difficulties with communication.

The girls and their families also lobbied for changes to Florida law. Parasailing companies in the state now operate under high wind restrictions and must carry insurance.