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February 27, 2017
The family of deceased former pitcher Jose Fernandez is seeking to name his daughter Penelope as the sole beneficiary of his estate, according to Katie Strang of ESPN.com.
Per Strang, “Ralph Fernandez, who represents Fernandez’s mother, [Maritza], confirmed to ESPN on Monday that he plans to make this filing in court within the next week or two, adding another wrinkle to the ongoing legal battle over Fernandez’s estate, which is worth an estimated $2 million to $3 million.”
Ralph Fernandez (who isn’t related to the family) and his legal team will also seek to make Maritza Fernandez the personal representative of Penelope.
Maria Arias, Fernandez’s girlfriend, gave birth to Penelope on Friday.
“This has been great for everyone,” Fernandez told Strang of the birth. “This is the only bit of good news in the past five months since the tragedy.”
Fernandez’s estate isn’t the only unresolved issue surrounding the former pitcher, who died following a boating accident in September. As Strang reported, the families of both Eduardo Rivero and Emilio Macias—who were in the boat with Fernandez—have filed wrongful death lawsuits against Fernandez’s estate, with each seeking $2 million in damages.
The families have claimed negligence and personal injury in their lawsuits, based on the fact the autopsy revealed that Fernandez—the owner of the boat—had cocaine in his system and was legally drunk, per SI.com. Rivero also had cocaine in his system and a blood-alcohol level of 0.06, while Macias had a BAC of 0.04.
It is currently unknown who was driving the boat at the time of the accident.
“The Rivero and Macias families are deeply scarred by the loss of their sons,” the attorney for the two families, Christopher Royer, said in February, per Rafael Olmeda of the Sun-Sentinel. “We remain open to a settlement and are hopeful a prompt resolution can be achieved to spare these families, and that of Jose Fernandez too, from any additional suffering.”
Ralph Fernandez called a settlement “highly unlikely,” however.