Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

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A victim of a car accident may be able to bring a variety of claims against a negligent driver.  But Georgia law – like many states – sets forth certain limitations to recovery depending on the relative responsibility of the parties involved in the accident.  For example, under a Georgia statute, which applies to actions arising in Atlanta and throughout the state, a plaintiff in a “tort” action is not entitled to receive damages if he or she is found to be 50 percent or more responsible for the injury or damages alleged.  This issue and many others relating to car accidents involving negligent driving can be difficult to understand, especially with respect to how it applies to your particular case.  If you have been injured in a car accident it is important to contact an experienced Atlanta injury attorney who understands the local laws and procedures and can help to protect your rights to a recovery.

In a recent case, Reed et al. v. Carolina Casualty Insurance Co. et al., (Ga. Ct. App. 2014), plaintiff brought a wrongful death action on behalf of his son who died in a car crash on Interstate 285.  Plaintiff sought to recover damages for his son’s injuries and death.  According to the facts revealed at trial, at about 2:00 a.m. back in August 2008, Rimantas Labeika improperly parked a tractor-trailer in a prohibited area – the emergency lane on the right side of the highway, just past the entrance ramp. He parked there to rest after driving the maximum number of hours regulated by law.

About an hour later, Thomas Reed, II, was approaching the intersection of Interstate 285 in rainy conditions.  He had been drinking and had a blood alcohol level of .095.  As he entered the Interstate, taking the curve too fast for the weather conditions and his rate of speed, he lost control of the car. He struck the guardrail and ultimately crashed into the rear of tractor-trailer parked at the side of the road.  The impact caused the gas tank to rupture, resulting in a fire. The driver’s cause of death was blunt force trauma and thermal injuries. Continue reading

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Cobb County police have arrested a Florida woman for her role in an early morning fatal crash. The crash happened earlier this month on I-75 south, just south of the Hickory Grove Road overpass.

Police said the Florida woman failed to stay in her lane, which resulted in her sideswiping a truck, causing it to veer off of the road and then overturn. The driver of the truck was transported by helicopter to a local hospital in critical condition. Sadly, the man’s wife, a passenger in the vehicle, died at the scene.

The Florida woman was reportedly arrested at the scene and taken to the local detention center, where she was charged with second degree vehicular homicide and failure to maintain lane.

The charges in this case stem from the driver’s reported failure to stay within her own lane, which led to her collision with the victims’ vehicle. Continue reading

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A man was fatally shot to death by a state trooper during a chase.

In March of 2010, a 24-year-old father of three became involved in a high speed chase with police, and the pursuit took to a nearby highway. The man was being pursued in relation to a misdemeanor probation warrant, and the two troopers in pursuit called for backup, spikes and a road block along the route the man was fleeing.

While one trooper was chasing the man’s Pontiac Grand Am, the second trooper positioned himself on an overpass under which the fleeing man would pass. The trooper asked his commanding officer if he had permission to open fire on the car. According to the police records of this event, the commanding officer ordered the trooper on the overpass with a rifle to stand down. He felt there was no point in using a weapon to stop the man, as he was heading for spikes and a road block.

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Out-of-court settlements are good for the plaintiff. They do not mean there was not a case in the first instance.

This particular case captured national media headlines when a former patient of Narconon of Georgia died while in treatment. Patrick Desmond met his death in 2009 as a result of a fatal mix of opiates and booze, while a patient at the Church of Scientology run Norcross drug treatment center.

The long and short of this case was that the treatment facility misrepresented itself as being a residential treatment center that offered in-patient care. In truth, they had no license to offer such services. Desmond was sentenced to six months in such a facility by a court in Florida.

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Domestic violence calls are often deadly. This one was no exception.

This story began when the wife of the deceased called the local police station to report domestic violence. The officer dispatched to the scene was greeted on his arrival by a knife wielding man. In fear of his life, the officer fired his service revolver. That is what the incident report reflected. What eyewitnesses stated apparently was something altogether different.

The 44-year-old man’s family contacted a personal injury lawyer in regard to filing a wrongful death lawsuit. The attorney handling the case indicated there were many discrepancies in statements and in order to get a much clearer picture of what went on that fatal night, they would be doing an in depth investigation. It is speculated that the man’s death was avoidable.

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When you go to a baseball game, you do not expect to die.

The day started out just like any other day, but with a hint of excitement in the air, because it was game day. The Cleveland Indians were ready to play ball, and the crowd was loving every moment in anticipation of a great game. And then, the unthinkable happened.  A man was hit by a Kids Fun Day inflatable slide, just outside the ballpark. He was taken to hospital with three broken bones in his back, and expected to recover. Nine days later, he was the victim of a deadly pulmonary embolism as a result of the fractures.

The man’s wife chose to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the Cleveland Indians, the ballpark and the company that erected the slide, citing negligence in setting up the slide. National Pastime Sports representatives did not make an appearance in court, which resulted in a default judgment against them for $3.5 million. The Cleveland Indians denied they were liable for the accident that subsequently killed the sports fan outside their park, indicating the slide was the sole responsibility of National Pastime Sports. Ultimately, they did offer to settle with the widow, as it was the right thing to do, and saved the expense of a two week trial.

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This is a complex case with interesting twists and turns.

In this tense story of love possibly gone wrong, the police and other family members are suggesting that the woman at the center of their investigation shoved her husband out of a window, where he fell 25 stories to his death. While theories still swirl, the woman has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the apartment complex where they were living at the time of the alleged crime.

The woman was seven months pregnant at the time of the incident, and insists her husband tripped over something, stumbled wildly and unable to recover from his forward momentum, fell through the living room window. Facts filed in the wrongful death lawsuit point to a window that consisted of single pane glass, which is a flagrant violation of building codes and existing safety standards. Because it was only a single pane, it could be shattered with a minimum of pressure. If someone fell into it head first, with even a modicum of force, it would easily crack and give way.

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Cases that involve kids are the toughest ones to handle. This accident story is heartbreaking.

Often in cases like this one, there are two elements you need to keep in mind: the criminal side and the civil side. In this reported case, there was the criminal element of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter, driving without a license and felony hit-and-run causing a death.

The 22-year-old man, driving through a crosswalk, hit and killed a four-year-old pedestrian. Rather than stopping and remaining at the scene of the accident for the police to arrive, the driver left the area. The man probably knew he was going to be in deep trouble, compounded by the fact he was driving without a license and left the scene of the accident.

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The courts are looking for unusual and innovative ways to make a point that it does not pay to drink and drive.

This reported case may sound like just another drunk driving conviction, but this one has a twist to it. This story started when a young 24-year-old man doing duty as a designated driver was taking his friends home from an evening out on the town drinking. After dropping the last one off, he headed home, but never made it.

In the middle of an intersection, another car driven by a 26-year-old woman ran a red light and slammed into the side of the man’s car. His family was in deep shock when they heard the news. That shock also turned to anger when they found out that her blood alcohol level was 0.229, and the legal limit was 0.08. The family sought legal counsel and filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

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For most people, going to the dentist is stressful. For the 13-year-old girl in this reported case, it resulted in her death. The young girl was having teeth removed during oral surgery in the dentist’s office, when she stopped breathing. The autopsy revealed that the death was the result of complications from anesthesia, given prior to surgery.

The devastated family elected to file a wrongful death lawsuit, which was settled out of court by the dentist’s insurance company and negotiated by the state’s Dental Board. The most interesting aspect of this case were the remarks made by the Dental Board once the settlement had been negotiated, commenting, among other things, that it was the task of the Board to ensure unsafe dentists, or those that were likely a threat, either took further training to remediate deficient areas in their practice or, in the alternative, stop practicing.

The upside of this case was, in addition to the negotiated settlement, that the doctor agreed to retire. On the surface, this may have been a stunningly good idea, given the man’s age. Digging deeper revealed that it was not the first time that the doctor had been sued for wrongful death. In 1997, a 57-year-old woman died from similar complications with anesthetic. At that time, the dentist would have been 67-years-old. That case was also settled out of court.