Parents of University of Florida students sue after daughters killed in car crashes

Published: Mar. 2, 2021 at 5:36 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - An issue plaguing University Avenue is coming to a head. The deaths of two young University of Florida students in hit-and-run crashes has sparked outrage, and now a lawsuit.

The parents of Maggie Paxton and Sophia Lambert are seeking justice after both of the U.F. students were killed.

Related story: Mother of daughter killed on University Avenue speaks out, following second student’s death

The south Florida law firm Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen is representing both families.

Both of the wrongful death lawsuits were filed last week.

According to the filed complaint, Maggie’s parent’s, James and Lisa are suing Miguel Figueroa, identified as the owner of the BMW that hit and killed Paxton.

While in Sophia’s case, her parents, Lawrence and Julie are suing Benjamin Piper who was driving for Uber Eats, and Boris Stoyanov who was driving his father’s car that night, as well as the Uber company.

“We’ve got two different lawsuits going. The Paxton case is against Figueroa as the owner and operator of the vehicle. If we determine that he was not driving, we’ll be amending the complaint to bring in whoever was driving. In the Lambert case we’ve sued drivers and owners of both vehicles as well as Uber Eats and the supporting companies that come together to run Uber Eats,” Attorney Andrew Yaffa said.

TV20 attempted to reach Figueroa for comment at his business Best Motor Works and Sports, but he did not respond.

The other two drivers proved to be just as difficult to find for comment.

Yaffa said he hopes these lawsuits provide for a safer future for pedestrians in Gainesville.

Related story: Expect increased police, more citations, following UF pedestrian deaths

“These were senseless deaths and they’re totally preventable and clearly the community needs to come together and hopefully they’ll do so in honor of these two lives that were lost to make it safer so no other lives are lost this way,” Yaffa said.

And join together this community is expected to do. A press conference is scheduled for West University Avenue where each family will share photos and memories.

Gainesville Police also said that no arrests have been made yet in either of these cases.

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