Attorneys for the father of a woman killed in a hit-and-run accident are gathering evidence for a civil lawsuit against the Miami Lakes lawyer charged with drunken-driving manslaughter.
Stewart Tilghman Fox Bianchi & Cain attorneys David W. Bianchi and Michael E. Levine teamed with Coffey Burlington’s Paul Schwiep to bring the civil complaint over the death of Tatum Holloway.
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Miami-Dade Circuit Court against personal injury lawyer Marcos Gonzalez-Balboa, 65, of Hialeah, who’s been a member of the Florida Bar since 1979.
“It’s very simple,” Bianchi said. “We’re alleging that he was negligent in the operation of the car. And we’re also going to be able to prove that he was a drunk driver.”
Miami-Dade police say Gonzalez-Balboa was at Bulla Gastrobar in Coral Gables from about 5-11 p.m. on Dec. 6 and paid for at least 20 drinks on the night of the crash that killed Holloway. The number of drinks the attorney actually consumed is unknown.
“We know that he had been in a restaurant in Coral Gables drinking for about six hours or so,” Bianchi said. “This guy has a serious alcohol problem. It finally went too far, and he killed somebody.”
Miami-Dade police Detective Jeffrey Childers’ affidavit to secure an arrest warrant for Gonzalez-Balboa said surveillance video showed the attorney stumbling out of the bar and fumbling to pay for parking.
Later that night, Gonzalez-Balboa was traveling west on Miami Lakes Drive when he lost control of his Mercedes-Benz C250 as he approached a curve, according to the police affidavit. He veered out of his lane and struck Holloway, who was crossing Fairway Drive.
“The impact of the crash was so great that the victim’s body was vaulted upward and into the windshield of the subject’s vehicle,” Childers wrote. “Her body was then hurled about 51 feet from the area of collision and came to rest along the side of the road next to a storm drain. Her watch was knocked off her wrist due to the impact.”
Holloway, 26, was an auctioneer for Park West Gallery. She was in Miami Lakes for a work function and walked to a nearby McDonald’s restaurant, Bianchi said. She was on her way from the restaurant when a car struck her and fled the scene.
Gonzalez-Balboa was arrested Tuesday on charges of DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of a crash and tampering with physical evidence. He remained in custody Wednesday on $150,000 bond, according to Miami-Dade jail records.
“It’s even more outrageous because he is a lawyer and he fled,” Bianchi said. “Not only did he flee, but on the same day that he killed her, he went out and got somebody to put a new windshield in his car.”
Childers’ report said surveillance footage showed no damage on Gonzalez-Balboa’s car when he left Coral Gables that night, but he had a shattered windshield the following morning.
A tipster told police about the damage to the attorney’s car and said Gonzalez-Balboa said a coconut had broken his windshield, according to the affidavit.
No attorney has entered an appearance in the civil case, but Gonzalez-Balboa’s criminal defense attorney denied all allegations.
“He’s presumed innocent, and we will enter a not-guilty plea to the charges,” said defense attorney Miguel Del Aguila. “We intend to investigate the matter thoroughly, deny the allegations against Mr. Gonzalez and move forward with a vigorous defense of the case.”