No matter how the death occurs, losing a loved one is devastating. And in the midst of trying to process through the grief and pain, a number of other issues can arise such as medical and funeral expenses. Finances can put a strain on anyone, especially in the wake of a death.

But for families who have lost a loved one, filing a wrongful death lawsuit can help compensate for a number of things, including medical expenses. If the death was the result of someone else's negligence, recklessness, or even criminal act, that individual or entity may be liable for the death. Often people think of fatal accidents when they think of a wrongful death claim. But there are other situations where a family can file this type of civil lawsuit.

A trial just recently came to a close involving the death of a California man and the tobacco company giant Philip Morris. The man died in 2002, leaving behind a 10-year-old son who has been dealing with the loss of his father since that day.


It was approximately three years ago that Santa Clara police officers fatally shot a young man at a house party. Since then, the young man's family has been fighting a number of court battles after filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the police department. Now, the case is being heard in front of a federal appeals court.

Any fatal accident is a tragedy as well as a difficult time for the family and friends of the accident victim. Questions such as "how did this happen?" and "could this have been prevented?" swirl in their minds as they struggle to grasp their loss. For this young man's family, the biggest question they have been asking is whether it was necessary for the police to shoot him that night.

The young man had been at a house party when witnesses reported he turned violent. The local police department was notified but when they arrived at the house, the young man had hidden in a bedroom, refusing to come out. According to the report, the young man had stabbed two individuals with a knife. The police stated that when they burst into the bedroom, the young man tried to attack them with the knife.


This past fall, a young teacher was killed after a school bus crashed into her vehicle. According to the article, the bus driver had not been paying attention. Traffic had come to a halt and the bus driver slammed on the breaks when she finally noticed the cars in front of her. But her reaction was too late and the accident resulted.

The young teacher was seriously injured in the crash and was transported to a nearby hospital. Unfortunately, her injuries were so severe that she died 10 days after the crash. A month after the crash, the young teacher's family sued the bus driver and school district for wrongful death. Just recently, a settlement was reached.

The teacher's husband and daughter received a multi-million dollar settlement for the loss of their loved one. Other members of the teacher's family were also awarded monetary compensation.


If you ask anyone who has lost a loved one, they will tell you that no amount of money will replace that individual. The mother of a young man who was killed by a BART police officer in 2009 would tell you the same thing.

Just recently, the wrongful death lawsuit she filed against the transit agency was settled and the young man's family was awarded a multi-million dollar settlement, in addition to a settlement awarded to the young man's daughter last year. But even though a settlement was reached, the transit agency has not admitted to any type of liability in the situation.

The incident occurred on the first of the year. Though details are sparse in this article, it appears that the BART police officer, who has since then been relieved of his duties, responded to a fight on a BART train that had been reported. The young man had been there and the officer attempted to Taser the young man.


Losing a loved one under any circumstance is a tragedy. But when the death was caused by someone else's carelessness or negligence, family members and friends are also faced with questions and frustrations over whether the death could have been prevented.

The family of a California man, angry over his death, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the County of San Luis Obispo. The lawsuit was filed in early February of this year by the man's brother and sister. The lawsuit alleges that the county medical staff failed to adequately monitor their brother, giving him the opportunity to take his own life.

The man had been dealing with severe depression and after calling a county mental health help line, he was admitted into the county clinic. Medical professionals believed that he could be a danger to himself and evaluated him. He remained in their care; staff took away personal items that could be used to harm him but allowed him to continue wearing a hooded sweatshirt.

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