Month: February 2015

Widow Sues Herself after Husband Dies in Car Accident

autoFollowing the death of a man in car accident in December 2011, Utah appeal court has allowed his widow to sue herself for negligence.

Fifty-five year old Barbara Bagley was driving the vehicle in Nevada desert when it crashed into a large bush. Her husband Bradley Vom Baur was thrown out of the car and died 10 days later.

According to Reid Tateoka, who is representing Ms Bagley, ”The insurance company refused to pay out and said she was at fault…It said it was prepared to pay for the car, but it would not take responsibility for her husband.”

Barbara Bagley, who is also the representative of her husband’s estate, is now seeking damages to cover the hospital expenses, funeral expenses as well as compensation for the pain suffered by Bradley.

According to the court’s decision, Ms. Bagley will have to present evidence against herself to prove negligence.

Family Sues Hospital after Boy Under Suicide Watch Kills Himself

cropped-Fotolia_72101625_XS.jpgThe family of 20-year-old Prashant Tiwari, who committed suicide last year while under suicide watch in the psychiatric unit of Brampton Civic Hospital, Ontario, Canada, has filed a wrongful death and breach of privacy lawsuit against the hospital.

According to the family, the hospital staff was supposed to check on Prashant every 15 minutes. However, they left him unattended for more than 2.5 hours during which, he killed himself. His body was later found in washroom. The $12.5 million lawsuit also claims that the hospital staff accessed Prashant’s personal information after his death, without authorization.

According to the family’s lawyer Michael Smitiuch, of Smitiuch Injury Law, “This is a tragic case the puts the focus on a much wider problem…Far more attention needs to be given to protect vulnerable people, like Prashant, whose lives depend on a higher standard of hospital care.”

Widow of Man Shot by Pasco Police Withdraws Wrongful Death Claim

The widow of Antonio Zambrano-Montes, who was fatally shot by the Pasco police on February 10, is withdrawing the wrongful death claim filed against the city on February 13.

The $25 million claim alleged that the officers were not justified at fatally shooting Antonio as he posed no danger to them.

The victim’s widow Teresa de Jesus Meraz-Ruiz will now be represented by attorney Charles Herrmann. According to Herrmann, the claim filed earlier was “was premature, ill-considered, and done without Teresa’s knowledge or express consent.” He further said that his firm is now independently investigating the case and will file a new claim after considering all aspects.


Deceased Santa Rita Jail Inmate’s Family Gets $8.3 Million in Wrongful Death Settlement

arbitrationIn what is being termed as the largest wrongful death civil rights settlement in California history, the defendants and the prosecutors in Martin Harrison case have agreed to a payout of $8.3 million dollars.

In 2010, Martin Harrison was held on a DUI charge at Santa Rita Jail. He died after a confrontation with the deputies, while he was in alcohol withdrawal.

According to Attorney Julia Sherwin, a Licensed Vocational Nurse decided that he was not at risk of going in alcohol withdrawal even though Harrison had told the nurse “I drink every day.”

Recently, both parties have agreed on a settlement according to which, Alameda County and Corizon Correction Healthcare will pay $8.3 million to Harrison’s 4 adult children.

Disabled Motorcyclist Wins £10m in Compensation

After his motorcycle was struck by the door of a VW Golf, on the helicopter to the hospital, Marcel Beasley’s heart stopped 8 times. He spent two weeks in a coma, and now uses a wheelchair and needs constant care for “very traumatic brain injuries” and “impaired intellectual and cognitive functions”.

The driver of the Golf was found to be 100 % liable for the collision and for Mr Beasley’s injury.

London’s High Court awarded him over £10 million, made up of £4.27 million for a handicapped-enabled property, plus £175,000 annually to pay for his medical team.

Initially, Beasley was hospitalized for 15 months at the specialist brain injury unit of Richardson Mews in Northampton.

Victim’s Family Awarded Over $16 Million in Drunk Driving Wrongful Death Lawsuit

autoA Hamilton family will get more than $16 million in a wrongful death lawsuit against Hamilton Healthcare Center, Texas.

The lawsuit accused the nursing home of allowing a drunk employee, Alisa Prueitt, to drive home. As per the court documents, Prueitt was asked to go home because she was ‘unfocused’. On her way home, she rammed her car into a vehicle driven by Sam Graham. Graham was killed in the accident while his wife and 2 children were injured.

The lawsuit claims that Prueitt’s blood alcohol level was 0.40 at the time while the threshold for considering a driver drunk is 0.08.

Following the accident, Prueit was sentenced to 28 years in prison for intoxication assault and intoxication manslaughter.

The jury awarded $16.7 million, including $5 million in punitive damages, to the family of Sam Graham.

Road Crash Victim’s Husband Gets $12.8 Million in Wrongful Death Settlement

autoA man, whose wife was killed in a three-vehicle crash at U.S. 20 and County Road 31, near Middlebury, Indiana, in 2011, will receive $12.8 million as wrongful death settlement.

On the evening of Sept. 16, 2011, Pamela Beemer, 46, and two other women were travelling west on U.S. 20 when a semitrailer, travelling east, veered off the center line and came in the path of their car. The car crashed into the semitrailer and subsequently collided with an escort vehicle. Beemer was killed in the accident, along with her fellow passengers Maxine Sailor, 87, and Virginia Miller, 85.

Following the accident, Beemer’s husband Robert Burg filed a wrongful death lawsuit alleging that the semitrailer and escort vehicles violated the state law by travelling on the road after sunset, without police escort. The lawsuit also claims that the truck was transporting an oversized section of a wind tower even though the driver had no experience of hauling oversized loads.

The parties reached a settlement, according to which the trucking company and driver will pay $1.75 million to Burg. Furthermore, the shipper and operators of the front escort vehicle will pay $1 million each, the operators of 2 rear escort vehicles will be liable to pay $965,000 while the owner of semitrailer will pay $175,000.

The settlement was approved by a judge of Elkhart Circuit Court on February 17.

$400 million To Cover GM Ignition-Switch Compensation


General Motors has set aside an initial $400 million to cover its costs of compensation. Claims of ignition-switch defects in its cars total 4,312. Fifty-six deaths, and 87 injuries are eligible for compensation. A number of other death, catastrophic injury and less-serious injury incidents were not considered eligible. The deadline was Jan. 31.

Family of Man Fatally Shot by Pasco Police Files Wrongful Death Claim

arbitrationThe family of 35-year-old Antonio Zambrano-Montes, who was shot and killed by Pasco police on February 10, filed a wrongful death claim against the city on February 13.

Police officers arrived at the scene following a 911 report of a man throwing rocks at vehicles in Pasco, Washington. The officers said that Antonio Zambrano-Montes also threw rocks at them and his behavior was threatening and erratic.

According to the claim filed by the victim’s widow Teresa De Jesus Meraz Ruiz, 32 and 2 daughters, the officers chased him across a busy intersection in downtown and then killed him on a sidewalk. The claim further says that officers were not justified at the use of excessive and deadly force, as Antonio posed no threat to them.

The police and prosecutors confirmed that Antonio did not have a knife or a firearm at the time of his death.

The $25 million claim serves as a notice that the family will file a wrongful death lawsuit if the city does not respond within 60 days.

Mom Files Lawsuit after Inmate Commits Suicide at Rikers

Justice scale on blue backgroundThe mother of 31-year-old Quannell Offley, who committed suicide in a Rikers Island solitary confinement cell on December 3, 2013, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city on February 10.

Offley was arrested on an attempted robbery charge and was sentenced to 4 years in prison. He was later placed in solitary confinement, even after he repeatedly told the jail guards that he was suicidal. According to the investigative documents, a guard once replied to him, “If you have the balls, go ahead and do it.”

According to Paul Weitz, who is representing the victim’s mother Desdemona Offley in her lawsuit, Offley committed suicide just days after he attempted to use a bedsheet tied to an air vent for killing himself. “He was begging to be transferred to a medical facility and they couldn’t have cared less…It is hard to believe that in this day and age we treat our prisoners in this country so callously.”

The lawsuit, which was filed in Bronx Supreme Court, claims unspecified damages.