A Miami real estate developer is facing allegations that he ran over a swimmer with his boat in Biscayne Bay near Bay Harbor Islands, slicing her leg and causing permanent injuries.
Theresa Murray filed suit in Miami-Dade Circuit Court Court on Monday, alleging that Irwin Tauber’s 41-foot boat’s three bladed stainless steel propellers sliced her leg and ankle in April, while she was out for a swim. And instead of stopping, the complaint alleges that Tauber kept going, telling her that she should have been using a dive flag.
Tauber leads Bay Harbor Islands-based Taubco, which has owned shopping centers in and around North Miami. Taubco has proposed building Causeway Village, a mixed-use project with 297 luxury apartments and 15,480 square feet of retail at 1850 Northeast 123rd Street in North Miami.
Tauber owns a 21,000-square-foot waterfront mansion on Indian Creek Island, with eight bedrooms, 10 bathrooms and six half-baths, and a market value of $30.1 million, according to the Miami-Dade County property appraiser’s site.
Tauber’s lawyer, Neal Sandberg of Simon, Schindler & Sandberg LLP, said via email that the defendants, Tauber and the entity that owns his boat, “will respond to and defend against the claims” in the suit. He declined further comment, citing the pending litigation.
In the suit, Murray alleges that Tauber was operating the boat in a manatee zone, which requires boaters drive at slow speeds so that boats do not cause a wake.
The complaint alleges Tauber operated the boat at 46 miles per hour in the slow speed zone. The boat also allegedly took a shortcut by cruising under a bridge outside the designated channel, and ignored navigational markers going through an area with submerged pilings, according to the suit.
Murray was swimming less than 100 feet from the sea wall, in waters just over six feet deep, according to the complaint.
Tauber’s boat propellers then cut into Murray’s left leg, causing deep, permanent injuries to the blood vessels, deep tissue and nerves. This led to at least four separate lacerations, the suit states.
After running over Murray, Tauber drove the boat away, stopping farther away, according to the complaint. Murray yelled at Tauber, “You hit me!” But instead of coming back, Tauber said Murray “should have been wearing a dive flag!”
According to Murray’s lawyer, maritime attorney Jack Hickey of the Hickey law firm in Miami, she was not required to wear a dive flag, since she was swimming and not diving. The suit charges Tauber with violating numerous Florida statutes and Inland Rules of Navigation.