Earlier this year in April, the family of one of the Navy Yard Shooting victims filed suit in a Florida state court for the wrongful death of their loved one. According to a report by the Washington Post, the lawsuit names the United States government and two government contractors as defendants.
A similar suit was filed last year, but was dismissed for procedural reasons. This time around, the victim’s family added the two government contractors as defendants. The victim’s family is claiming that the government contractors who employed the shooter failed to adequately check his background and didn’t pay attention to the several signs of mental instability.
The suit also relies on the federal government’s own investigation into the shooting, claiming that the government was negligent in failing to secure the Navy Yard and also that the government failed to respond to the signs of mental health issues that the shooter exhibited in the time leading up to the tragic event.
This time, the lawsuit was filed in Florida state court, as opposed to federal court where the suit was filed last year. This was done in an attempt to join all necessary parties to the lawsuit. However, if the defendants decide they would rather litigate the case in federal court, they can remove the case to a federal court in Florida.
Wrongful Death Suits in Maryland
The legal basis for the claim filed by the shooting victim’s family is “wrongful death.” Wrongful death is a very broad action that alleges that the death of a person (usually a loved one) was caused by someone else’s negligence. As the case above indicates, the named defendant does not need to be the sole cause of death; it is generally sufficient that the plaintiff show that the death would not have been caused but for the defendant’s negligence.
In addition to showing that the defendant caused the victim’s death, a wrongful death suit must be brought by the proper party. Generally, a wrongful death action must be brought by an immediate family member of the deceased, such as a parent, child, or spouse. In some cases, it may be possible for a close relative to bring the suit, as well; however, an attorney should be consulted in order to determine whether a party is proper in a wrongful death action.
Have You Lost a Loved One Due to Another’s Negligence?
If you have recently lost a loved one due to the negligence of another, you may be entitled to monetary damages to compensate you for your loss. To better understand the Maryland laws that allow families of accident victim’s to recover, you should speak with a dedicated Maryland wrongful death attorney at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen. The skilled attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen have years of experienced recovering for the families Maryland accident victims. Click here, or call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free initial consultation today.
More Blog Posts:
Opera Singer Sues Over Career-Ending Injury Allegedly Sustained During Childbirth, Maryland Accident Law Blog, April 29, 2014.
Can Maryland Birthing Malpractice Cause Autism? Maryland Accident Law Blog, July 16, 2011