While some people in Texas might associate wrongful death suits with accidents, in some cases, a wrongful death lawsuit can proceed after a murder. This is the case in a Pennsylvania murder although the lawsuits have been filed against the convicted murderer’s parents.
In 2017, two cousins were involved in the murder of four men. In 2018, one pleaded guilty to four counts of murder. He is serving four consecutive life sentences. The other man went to trial where a jury found him guilty in the murder of one man and voluntary manslaughter of two of the others. All four families of the murdered men have filed a lawsuit against the parents of the first man. On May 13, a judge ruled that one of the lawsuits could continue.
According to the family’s attorney, the man liked guns and had a history of violence and psychiatric issues. His parents had a legal duty to protect others from him, and they failed. The lawsuit is making a claim of parental liability that includes claims of negligence and wrongful death.
People who have lost a loved one, whether it is the result of a crime or an accident, may want to talk to an attorney about whether they might be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Only certain family members are able to file in the case of wrongful deaths. The ability to do so can be particularly important for dependents since in some cases, compensation may include assessing what a person’s lost income would amount to and including that in the settlement. Property owners and managers might also be liable in a wrongful death lawsuit if a person dies on their premises in an accident. Wrongful death lawsuits might be settled out of court, but if the parties cannot agree, it may go to court.