The Real Deal Miami

Soffer again asks for wrongful death suit dismissal

Claims plaintiff is not widow of man killed in helicopter crash

February 28, 2014 10:30AM

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Jeffrey Soffer

Jeffrey Soffer

The woman who filed a $100 million wrongful death lawsuit against billionaire Jeffrey Soffer is not the widow of the man killed in the 2012 helicopter accident that spurred the complaint, attorneys for the developer say.

Soffer filed a second motion to dismiss, this time for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, on Thursday, according to Miami-Dade Circuit Court records. In the filing, Soffer claims Daria Gogoleva is not the widow of Lance Valdez, who was killed in the Bahamas crash. Gogoleva first sued Soffer in federal court in December before withdrawing the complaint and refiling it in Circuit Court last month.

Gogoleva claims Soffer piloted the helicopter during the crash. In Thursday’s filing, Soffer argues Gogoleva does not have the authority to file a wrongful death suit in an individual capacity. He cites a December 2012 affidavit in which Gogoleva allegedly acknowledged that she was not the spouse of Valdez. — Eric Kalis

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