The $100 million wrongful death lawsuit against Elle Macpherson’s husband, Jeffrey Soffer owner of the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach, was suddenly dropped from a Miami court on Tuesday. The billionaire was being sued by Lance Valdez’s widow, Dasha. Valdez, a prominent tax attorney, was a passenger in Soffer’s helicopter when it crashed on November 2012 in the Bahamas.
The lawsuit made claim that Soffer was piloting the helicopter during the fatal crash and did not tell his passengers that he did not have a proper pilot’s license. Mrs. Valdez brought the suit because she believed that Soffer tried to cover up the fact that he was in control of the helicopter, and that he convinced a pilot by the name of David Pearce to say that he was the one piloting at the time of the crash.
Mrs. Valdez received a $2 million insurance settlement from her husband’s death. Elle Macpherson was also named in the lawsuit because the widow claimed that she was pressured by her to take the insurance settlement instead of pursuing legal action. Valdez also accused the former Australian supermodel of trying to cover for her husband and lying about who was piloting the aircraft at the time of the crash.
It is unclear why Mrs. Valdez’s lawyer dropped the suit, however, sources told the The New York Post that the two sides did not reach a settlement and that Soffer was ready to fight the lawsuit in court. “Jeff was preparing to respond to, and deny, the allegations. Before he could, the suit was voluntarily withdrawn without warning.”
Soffer’s laywer said that he was not surprised by the withdrawal and that the lawsuit was “riddled with factual errors and unfounded accusations.” However, just because Mrs. Valdez dropped the suit last week does not mean she cannot refile on a later date.
Soffer and four other passengers survived the helicopter crash. Mr. Valdez was the only casualty in the accident.
Image via Wikipedia Commons