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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

Sacramento Family Sues Police for Stephon Clark Killing

Shot 20 times by police officers right in front of his grandparents, the family of Stephon Clark has filed a $20 million federal lawsuit against the city of Sacramento for wrongful death, excessive force, and false arrest. They are seeking punitive damages. Clark, an unarmed black father of two, was shot to death in his grandparents' backyard in March of 2018, all while the grandparents "watched in horror."

California Sued for $90M by Widow of Murdered Malibu Camper

Tristan Beaudette took his two young daughters camping in order to give his wife some much needed quiet time to study for an upcoming exam. That fateful good deed had a tragic ending. Beaudette, a pharmaceutical executive, was fatally shot in front of his children while camping at Malibu Canyon State Park, and his family has now filed a lawsuit for failing to warn campers about the known shooter in the area that ultimately killed Beaudette.

The lawsuit names the L.A. County Sheriff's Department, California State Parks police, and the California Parks and Recreation Commission, seeking damages against each for $30 million on behalf of Beaudette's wife and their children, for a total in excess of $90 million.

Judge Orders North Korea to Pay $501M for American Student's Death

The parents and estate of Otto Warmbier won a $501 million judgment against the North Korea government for wrongful death. Though questions remain about the legitimacy and collectability of this judgment, one thing is certain: no amount of money can undo Otto's fate and ultimate death.

Some deaths feel accidental, tragic, unavoidable. And some others feel so easily preventable. Malfunctions and accidents happen, but we hope that the systems we put in place to protect us from those inevitable dangers will work. And when they don't, we want to hold them accountable.

So it's understandable that a person might expect a home security system, one that promised to alert authorities in case of alarm, wouldn't ignore two warnings and unanswered calls and "inexplicably" clear an incident, especially when that incident is a deadly house fire. But that's what happened to Elizabeth Frost, who died of smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning after a fire in her home. So, is the home security system to blame?

Mother Sues for $60M After Child Died in ICE Custody

There's nothing more tragic than the death of a child, but this death has an added element of tragedy.

Two weeks after entering an ICE facility, and immigrant child died. The child's mother is now suing for $60 million.

Party Bus Sued for Fatal Shooting in Santa Monica

After a party bus evening went tragically wrong last year, numerous plaintiffs have filed suit against the party bus company and the city of Santa Monica. Plaintiffs are suing over the shooting death of De'Ommie de la Cruz, including the deceased family as well as friends that witnessed the shooting. They are seeking unspecified damages.

Family Sues Mexico Resort for Daughter's Drowning

A family vacation in Mexico turned deadly for one Wisconsin family, and they've filed a wrongful death lawsuit in a Florida civil court to not only uncover the truth of that fateful day, but also to recover costs and damages. Though none of this will bring back their vibrant 20-year-old daughter, they hope it will help save the lives of future travelers and loved ones.

In April 2014, self-avowed Neo-Nazi Frazier Glenn Miller Jr. shot and killed three people in an anti-Semitic attack at a Jewish community center and retirement community in Overland Park, Kansas. As a convicted felon, Miller was prohibited from owning or buying firearms, and investigators learned another man, John Mark Reidle, purchased the shotgun used in the shooting for Miller at a Walmart in Republic, Missouri four days prior.

Miller was eventually convicted of capital murder, attempted murder, and weapons charges and sentenced to death, while Reidle was sentenced to five years of probation for providing false information on a federal firearms form. But what about Walmart? It recently settled a lawsuit with the family of Terri LaManno, who was shot and killed outside the Village Shalom care center.

Crime happens. The police can't be everywhere at once, and some criminal activity is either unpredictable or unavoidable.

But not all of it. When a woman claims she's being harassed by a sex offender, and officers determine his actions violate his probation, and he is being investigated for new and ongoing criminal activity, and both the woman and her mother have contacted law enforcement seeking help, that seems like a time when criminal activity is both predictable and avoidable. And yet, University of Utah student-athlete Lauren McCluskey is dead, murdered by a man who campus police and local officers knew or should have known was a danger. So, are those departments liable for her death?

"Given the history of violence in their parking lots," a wrongful death lawsuit claims, "and Wal-Mart's [sic] knowledge they were not employing adequate security measures, it was foreseeable to Wal-Mart that the Plaintiff would be attacked in their parking lot and sustain serious injury or death."

That's the legal argument a widow is making against the megaretailer, and it may be difficult for Walmart to refute. Recent years have seen a crime wave at Walmart locations, from the serious to the silly. This time it was Fadil Delkic who was shot and killed after an argument in a Snellville, Georgia Walmart parking lot.