In July of last year, a 29-year-old man was killed by police officers after he was stopped at an am/pm gas station. The man was shot by the officer as he was driving away. The officer claimed the man was driving toward him and that he fired the fatal shots to prevent the man from hitting him and another deputy. Those claims, however, didn’t match up with surveillance video and eyewitness accounts.
The man’s family opted to file a wrongful death lawsuit against Riverside County. The family alleged that the deputies tried to tamper with evidence. They say that tampering was meant to cover up the actions of the deputy who shot the man. On top of the civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit, they are also asking that the deputy face criminal charges for his actions.
In the most recent update on this case, a settlement has been reached between this family and Riverside County. The county will pay the family $1.5 million to help care for the man’s son and some of his other family members. A U.S. district court judge finalized the settlement last month.
The case shows that not all wrongful death lawsuits have to do with car accidents or premises liability cases. Anyone who has a loved one who died as a result of someone else’s negligence or actions might have a claim for compensation. Understanding the laws and statutes pertaining to wrongful death claims might help you to decide if you have a case and how to file the claims for applicable damages.
Source: Murrieta Patch, “RivCo to Pay Out $1.5 Million in Wrongful Death Suit” Renee Schiavone, Nov. 07, 2014