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Miami Developer Maimed Swimmer In Yachting Accident, Lawsuit Says

A Miami woman alleges that shopping center developer Irwin Elliott Tauber ran over her with his yacht in Miami's Biscayne Bay in April, causing serious injury to her extremities. He also allegedly refused to render first aid.

Tauber is the CEO of Taubco, which owns Causeway Square, an LA Fitness-anchored mixed-use building at the corner of Biscayne Boulevard and Northeast 123rd Street; Keystone Plaza, a Pet Supermaket-anchored plaza on Biscayne; and residential projects Island Club Towers and Royale Club Towers. 

Downtown Miami and sailboats on Biscayne Bay.

According to the complaint filed in a Miami-Dade circuit court by Theresa Murray, Tauber allegedly took his 41-foot-long Vahalla motor yacht out near the eBay Harbor Islands on April 28. The boat is registered to Arboca Holdings, which is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

Tauber was at the helm and traveling at 46 miles an hour despite entering a protected zone where boaters are required to move slowly to protect manatees, the complaint alleges. Murray says that the craft collided with her while she was swimming and that the yacht's propeller then sliced her left leg and ankle.

The complaint says Murray yelled to Tauber, “You hit me!", but that instead of returning to Murray to render first aid, "as required by Florida Statute, by the General Maritime Law, and by common decency," Tauber yelled at Murray that she "should have been wearing a dive flag." 

Tauber did not respond to a request for comment. 

A spokesperson for Murray's attorney said in an emailed announcement about the lawsuit that dive flags are not required for swimmers in that zone. "Murray was wearing a bright red swim cap and towed a bright red swim buoy, which is more than what was required by Florida law," the statement said.

The civil lawsuit accuses Tauber of negligence, operating a vessel in a reckless manner and related counts. Murray is suing for unspecified damages but her attorney, John H. "Jack" Hickey, told Business Insider she is seeking "millions." 

Tauber is not the first high-profile CRE player to be involved in a boating accident. Last year Mexican developer Javier Burillo faced manslaughter charges after his 11-year-old son was thrown overboard and died in San Francisco Bay. It is also not an unheard-of charge in Southern Florida: In 2014, a prominent Miami radio personality, DJ Laz, was involved in a boating incident that killed a man who was trying to help push Laz's boat out of a sandbar.

The South Florida Business Journal in August reported that Taubco has proposed two condo projects in Bay Harbor Islands, where the company is based. Tauber reportedly lives in Indian Creek, an ultra-exclusive enclave of Miami that's been called the "billionaire bunker" where Julio Iglesias and model Adriana Lima also live. Property records show Irwin Tauber's home is currently worth $30M.

Related Topics: Irwin Elliott Tauber