By Taylor Hernandez | WPBF
FORT PIERCE, Florida (WPBF) — Gloria Serge’s son described her as wholesome, robust and vibrant earlier than she was killed by an alligator whereas strolling her canine close to the pond behind her house.
The 85-year-old girl had lived within the Spanish Lakes Fairways neighborhood for nearly 30 years earlier than Feb. 20, 2023.
Serge was strolling her canine, Trooper, in her yard by a retention pond when a 10-foot-long, 700-pound alligator attacked her and dragged her physique into the water.
“I by no means might’ve imagined the agonizing approach my mom spent the ultimate minutes of her life,” Invoice Serge, Gloria’s son, mentioned. “The sudden, violent nature of this assault, fascinated about my mother in her ultimate moments, resulted in an entire totally different degree of all-consuming grief.”
The attorneys with Lesser, Lesser, Touchdown and Smith filed a wrongful loss of life lawsuit on behalf of Gloria’s property towards Wynne Constructing Company, the corporate that owns Spanish Lakes Fairways and 4 different communities in south Florida.
“If Spanish Lakes had taken any measure of frequent sense and cheap motion, Gloria can be right here right this moment,” Gary Lesser mentioned.
The lawsuit alleges Spanish Lakes knew concerning the alligator however didn’t notify and defend residents.
“Residents and neighborhood workers fed this alligator,” Lesser mentioned. “Our investigation discovered that residents and workers fed the alligator rooster and different meals from their lunch regularly.”
Residents locally additionally reportedly referred to the alligator as “Henry” due to how incessantly he was noticed in and across the retention pond.
The lawsuit alleges no signage was posted across the water, nor was a warning issued to residents of their weekly publication.
Gloria Serge’s household and attorneys say she needed to stroll her canine behind her house close to the lake as a result of it was towards neighborhood guidelines to stroll a canine in an space that was not a delegated pet space.
She was issued an eviction warning in January 2020 for strolling Trooper off her property within the neighborhood.
“Being evicted wasn’t actually an choice for this 85-year-old girl,” Joshua Ferraro mentioned.
The Serge household attorneys say the alligator certified for the state’s SNAP Program, which permits FWC-licensed trappers to take away alligators deemed nuisances.
Nuisance alligators are sometimes categorized as an alligator deemed harmful that’s longer than 10 ft.
Alec Wynne with the Wynne Constructing Company mentioned he couldn’t present additional remark about allegations made right this moment as a result of that they had not but acquired the lawsuit.
Beneath is an announcement from Joel Wynne, the President of Wynne Constructing Company, which was launched after the incident in February 2023:
“We’re saddened and shocked by the horrible accident that occurred to a resident. The unlucky individual had been a resident at Spanish Lakes Fairways for greater than twenty years. Encounters with alligators in Florida are uncommon, however under no circumstances remarkable. Prior to now, we have now eliminated these alligators reported to be of hazard. We respect wildlife and attempt to do what is affordable for everyone. To the very best of our information, no resident has ever been harmed within the 50+ years that Spanish Lakes has been in existence. Our ideas are along with her household and buddies.”
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