Lawsuit Over Helicopter Crash Refiled

In 2012, billionaire real-estate mogul Jeffrey Soffer was involved in a helicopter crash that claimed the life of his friend Lance Valdez, an attorney from Florida. The crash occurred in the Bahamas at an exclusive club. The original story that emerged stated that David Pearce, who is a licensed helicopter pilot, was landing the craft when an unexpected burst of wind disrupted the landing, causing the crash.

The story went on to detail that Valdez’s widow, Dari Pastouhkova Gogoleva, received a $2 million payment from the insurance company as compensation. She also signed a release, promising not to sue anyone onboard the aircraft. Since then, new details have emerged that could change everything.

Soffer Now Faces A $100 Million Wrongful-Death Lawsuit And Is Accused Of Conspiracy


The Daily Mail reports that Gogoleva has since discovered that Soffer was operating the helicopter when it crashed. He then conspired with the other passengers to claim that Pearce was at the helm because Soffer was not licensed to fly a helicopter.

Gogoleva claims that Soffer personally spoke to her, telling her that Pearce was responsible and urging her to take the insurance payout. Additionally, she says that he took advantage of her fragile emotional state by pressuring her into signing the release without giving her all of the information about the wreck. Soffer also allegedly asked Gogoleva’s close friends to try to influence her decision.

In December 2013, she filed a wrongful-death claim. More recently, she dropped the claim before refilling it in another court and asking for a jury trial.

If you have lost a loved one in an accident that you believe was caused by another person’s negligent behavior, it is important that you contact an attorney to ensure that your wrongful-death lawsuit is filed correctly. At Wolfson & Leon, LLP, we have more than 50 years of combined experience in Miami courtrooms. To schedule a consultation with an attorney from our firm, Call Us At 305-285-1115 Today!

Although The Conspiracy Is Shocking, The Suit Focuses On Soffer’s Negligence During The Accident


Gogoleva’s lawsuit claims that her husband’s death was a direct result of Soffer’s negligent behavior. Specifically, he was flying a helicopter without the proper license or enough experience to ensure the safety of his occupants. If a trained and licensed pilot had been at the controls, Valdez would likely be alive today.

In addition, the lawsuit alleges that Soffer told Valdez that he was licensed. Also, Soffer abruptly left after the accident, when emergency responders were still trying to save Valdez’s life, possibly indicating that he feared the results of an investigation.

At Wolfson & Leon, LLP, we make it our mission to help grieving families find the compensation they need to begin to move forward after their loved one’s death. We will treat you with compassion and respect while representing your best interests in court. To discuss your case during a free case evaluation, Call Us At 305-285-1115 Today!

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