About 7 years ago, I sat at the kitchen table of two strangers whose 17-year-old son died while he was conditioning for high school baseball. Within minutes, these two strangers--Kathy and Jim Miulli--became my friends. During that meeting, the grieving mother told me that all she wants is to have her story told to prevent other teenage athletes' deaths. This week, we were able to do that for her and her husband.
Over the past nearly seven years, my firm and I have proudly represented Kathy and Jim Miulli in a wrongful death case involving their son, Matt. On Monday, the Hillsborough County jury returned a verdict of over $2,000,000.00 after six days of trial. My partners, Bryan Caulfield and Lorrie Robinson, presented the case to the jury and both Jim and Kathy Miulli where able to tell her story. It was an honor to be part of the team that allowed them to do this. Although there are post-trial motions and likely appeals, two wonderful people and great parents to their son, Jim and Kathy Miulli are one step closer to closure.
As noted in news articles, since Matt's death, his parents have been instrumental in saving lives. Through their efforts, Jim and Kathy--and Matt--were able to convince Hillsborough County to fund two additional ambulances; was a catalyst in getting the FHSAA to amend their bylaws to require pre-participation physicals before conditioning; and were able to get the Florida legislature to pass the Gordon and Miulli Act that provides funding for defibrillators for youth athletic organizations. Now, if only Matt could do something up in Heaven to help his beloved Chicago Cubs!
I am blessed to know Jim and Kathy Miulli and have been honored to help them be able to tell their story--a story all of us wish they never had to tell.