Wrongful Death: Injured

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Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death claims are usually brought by the estate of a person who was killed due to fault of another. The most common plaintiffs are the surviving spouse or the children of the deceased. The wrongful death laws differ from state to state. Generally, the elements are the same and include a death of a human being which was caused either by negligence or the intent to harm. The surviving family members usually need to be suffering a monetary injury as a result of the death. A wrongful death lawsuit often ties in with other personal injury lawsuits including vehicle accidents or medical malpractice.

Recently in Wrongful Death Category

Recently, a Connecticut judge dismissed the lawsuit brought by the families of the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre against the gun manufacturer of the weapon used for the killings. Pursuant to a 2005 act signed into law by George W. Bush, the Protection of Lawful Commerce of Arms Act (PLCAA), the case was dismissed as the judge ruled the gun manufacturer could not be held liable.

Under the PLCAA, a gun manufacturer or dealer cannot be held liable for how a gun is used if the gun was sold legally. The families of the victims based their lawsuit on a theory of negligent entrustment, which is one of the few exceptions to the PLCAA.

Not every lawsuit has merit. And if you think you've been sued for no reason, you might be tempted to just ignore it. After all, why dignify false accusations with a response? While that might be a compelling perspective when faced with a verbal argument, the legal system doesn't quite work that way. And ignoring a lawsuit, rather than pointing out to a court why the lawsuit is frivolous, could mean the person suing you automatically wins.

Look no further than Hillary Clinton, who was declared in default by a court clerk for apparently ignoring a wrongful death lawsuit regarding her involvement (or lack thereof) in the attack on American facilities in Benghazi, Libya in 2012.

All surgeries have their risks, and when it comes to elective surgeries, the risk versus reward calculation can get far murkier. So murky, in fact, that plastic surgeons may need to inquire about a patient's mental state before assenting to a procedure.

At least that's what one Chicago lawsuit claims, after a patient underwent several cosmetic surgeries and died due to a pulmonary embolism. The woman's estate is now suing her doctors, claiming they failed to provide proper medical care by not giving her a psychological assessment prior to the procedures. It's a strange case, but may shed some light on whether you can sue for wrongful death after a botched cosmetic surgery.

Accidents happen, but sometimes they happen because of someone's negligence. And when someone's negligence leads to another person's death, family and loved ones of the deceased person may file what are known as wrongful death lawsuits.

Wrongful death lawsuits can be complicated, and there are several limiting factors when it comes to filing them. So here are five important questions (and answers) regarding wrongful death claims from our archives:

Scarlett Lewis, Neil Heslin, and Leonard Pozner, the parents of Jesse Lewis and Noah Pozner, offered to settle their lawsuit against the town of Newtown over the children's deaths in a horrific school shooting in 2012. The parents had sued the town, claiming Sandy Hook Elementary School's security plan was inadequate. Now the parents are offering to accept an $11 million settlement in return for dropping all of their legal claims against the city.

Newtown has yet to accept the settlement offer, but let's take a closer look at what it could mean.

Who's Liable for a Prescription Drug Overdose?

Ever since Prince died of a drug overdose, questions have been raised about drug overdose liability. Prince's deadly dosage was self-administered and his death has been ruled accidental, but that doesn't mean no one will be blamed for it, or that there is no one to sue in some overdose cases.

Let's consider liability for overdoses involving prescription drugs, like that of the legendary musician.

Cannabis Candy Maker Faces First Pot Wrongful Death Suit

Last month, the first ever wrongful death lawsuit was filed against a maker of marijuana edibles, blaming a cannabis candy for a husband's shooting of his wife. The claim is being called a long shot by legal experts, reports the Los Angeles Times. But it is also indicative of what is likely to come as marijuana transitions from an illegal drug to legitimacy. Let's consider it.

In an unexpected, if not unprecedented, criminal trial, the former CEO of Massey Energy Company Don Blankenship was sentenced to a year in prison on conspiracy charges for violating federal mine safety laws.

As Senator Joe Manchin III, who was the governor of West Virginia when an explosion in a Massey Energy-owned Upper Big Branch mine killed 29 miners in 2010, told The New York Times, “I never heard of anyone thinking that that could happen or would happen, because it had never happened before.”

Drug overdoses can be anything from simple mistakes to suicide attempts and they can have tragic consequences. In some cases those consequences can extend to dealers, friends, or family of the person who overdoses. Some states have begun prosecuting drug dealers with murder if a customer overdoses, and others are bypassing Good Samaritan protections and charging friends who dial 911 for overdosing friends with drug crimes.

And beyond possible criminal charges, could you be sued if you gave someone drugs that led to a deadly overdose? Or if someone overdoses in your house? Here’s a look at civil liability for drug overdoses.

How to Prove Fault in a Wrongful Death Case

If you lost a loved one due to the negligence or deliberate misconduct of another, you can sue for wrongful death. To succeed in such a claim you have to prove that the death was caused by another person’s action or inaction and that there was no unforeseeable intervening cause.

Proving fault is not always straightforward, and of course there are defenses to claims of negligence. But there are certainly cases when a defendant is found guilty of wrongful death, despite being found not guilty in a criminal trial, as most famously illustrated by OJ Simpson. Let’s examine the elements of a wrongful death claim.