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Could death of soccer ref lead to civil litigation?

Posted on in Wrongful Death

Emotions tend to run high a lot of times at sporting events. From fans upset over their team losing to players arguing with each other over unsportsmanlike conduct, these heightened emotions usually don’t amount to anything more than a few grumbles during and after the event is done.

But as our California readers will soon see, this wasn’t the case in Michigan recently where a disagreement with a referee at a soccer match turned deadly. Now, even though the incident happened far from residents here in San Jose, it’s raising questions about liability and whether the referee’s death could lead to civil litigation and eventually compensation.

For those who haven’t heard about the incident, the 44-year-old referee died after being punched in the head by a 36-year-old male player. The alleged assault happened during a dispute over a call made during the game. On top of the possibility of criminal charges in the case, could the 36-year-old face civil litigation?

Though a number of personal injury cases result from accidents such as car wrecks and slip-and-fall accidents, assault cases such as this can also lead to litigation. Though sources do not indicate if the victim’s family intends on taking legal action down the road, it’s worth noting that they may be able to. As many of our readers already know, compensation received from a personal injury lawsuit can be used to help cover expenses associated with a serious accident like this. The funds can even be used to cover burial costs as well.

But because of the complexity of the law and because tort laws are not the same in every state, handling a personal injury case like this on your own might not be the best option. Without legal help, a person might make a mistake that could jeopardize their case, which is not a good thing when seeking compensation.

Source: ABC News, “Referee Dies After Being Punched at Soccer Match,” Mike Householder, June 30, 2014

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