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Attorney Recalls South Florida Bridge Death That Prompted Safety Changes

HOLLYWOOD (CBSMiami) – A South Florida attorney is speaking out years after representing the family of a man who fell to his death on an opening bridge in Broward County.

After the case, safety changes were made, but that didn't stop a similar tragedy from happening in Palm Beach County last week.

In November of 2009, 80-year-old Desmond Nolan was crossing the Sheridan St. bridge when it began to open.

He tried to hang on but fell to his death.

His family filed a lawsuit against the tender and the company operating the bridge and attorney Jay Cohen represented the victim's family.

The case bringing about major safety changes in the hopes of preventing similar tragedies.

"No kind of entertainment device can be housed in the tender houses so there's no distractions," says Cohen. "The bridge tender is supposed to exit the tender house so that way they get a complete view of the area before opening the bridge."

It's what happened in Palm Beach County earlier this month that brings back the memories of the case Cohen handled a decade ago.

On February 6, 79-year-old Carol Wright died while walking her bicycle across a West Palm Beach drawbridge.

She was just feet away from a fixed portion of the bridge when she fell to her death as it opened.

"When someone dies in such a horrific manner that family suffers the trauma of the memory of their loved one under those last moments," says Cohen.

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