Moving on from the loss of a loved one is extremely difficult, especially if you must bear the weight of leftover hospital bills and a sudden drop in household income. That is why, if your loved one died due to someone else’s carelessness or recklessness, such as in a traffic collision, you may be able to pursue damages in a wrongful death suit. However, while the laws and processes are similar to a personal injury claim, but there are key differences that make these cases more complex.
On November 7th, 2019, Mr. Ryan Balder tragically died from fatal toxic fumes accidentally created by an employee mixing bleach and acid. He was the manager of the local Burlington Buffalo Wild Wings, and he heroically returned into the restaurant to save people and contain the situation, despite the risks. This incident sent 13 people to the hospital and would have been far more serious if Mr. Balder hadn’t risked his life in his efforts to save the lives of others.
Hazing is a part of many university and college campuses. It typically happens at the beginning of the school year, when young men wish to join fraternities and young women wish to join sororities. Unfortunately, there aren’t many minor instances of hazing. These situations, which can involve something seemingly innocent, can quickly get out of hand and turn deadly.
Under Massachusetts laws an individual or entity may have liability for someone’s death if they exhibited negligence, committed a willful or wanton act, or breached a warranty. A claim for damages may be pursued if, had the deceased lived, he or she would have been eligible to bring a personal injury action. Damages may be recovered in an act of tort by the executor or administrator on behalf of the estate.
Wrongful death actions have a statute of limitations of three years. Certain incidents do not allow actions of wrongful death—such as many accidents relating to railroads or streetcars—but may have other legal options. Claims of wrongful death are civil and would be separate from any associated criminal charges. Commonly awarded damages include amounts of expected lifetime earnings, loss of companionship and counsel, and expenses for a funeral and burial, among others.
Losing a family member is painful and when your family loses a family member because of the action or inaction of another person, the loss is compounded with anger. In addition to losing your loved one, you are facing a life without their companionship and in addition, very real monetary losses. There is no doubt that no amount of money will ever mitigate the loss but the fact remains, you have the legal right in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts per Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 229, Section 2 to file a wrongful death lawsuit.