Natalee Holloway’s parents have filed a wrongful death suit against two former suspects in the missing Alabama teenager’s case. Holloway had disappeared in 2005 while on a trip with schoolmates. Aruba police had searched for Holloway, but no one has ever been charged for her disappearance.
Holloway, 18, was last seen getting into a car with the Kalpoes and their friend, Joran van der Sloot on May 30, 2005. Holloway’s parents are requesting unspecified damages and a jury trial. They filed the lawsuit one day after the brothers sued the Dr. Phil show for slander and libel.
The Kalpoe brothers claim that a private investigator had secretly taped a conversation with Deepak and aired the audio on the show. They are accusing the show of altering parts of the conversation to “create false, incriminating, and defamatory statements that the plaintiffs engaged in criminal activity against Natalee Holloway.”
In the civil suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Beth Twitty and Dave Holloway accuse Satish and Deepak Kalpoe of intentionally, negligently, wantonly” caused fatal injury to their daughter.
The law of each state governs the amount of damages recoverable by statutory beneficiaries. Compensatory damages, which are intended to make restitution for the amount of money lost, are the most common damages awarded in wrongful death actions. Plaintiffs who prevail in a wrongful death lawsuit may recover medical and funeral expenses in addition to the amount of economic support they could have received if the decedent had lived and, in some instances, a sum of money to compensate for grief or loss of services or companionship.
Determining the amount of damages in a wrongful death action requires taking into account many variables. To compute compensation, the salary that the decedent could have earned can be multiplied by the number of years he most likely would have lived and can be adjusted for various factors, including inflation. Standard actuarial tables serve as guides for the life expectancy of particular groups identified by age or gender. The decedent’s mental and physical health, along with the nature of his work, can be taken into consideration by a jury.
Damages cannot always be calculated on the basis of potential earnings because not everyone is employed. Courts have set minimum yearly dollar amounts for the worth of an individual’s housekeeping and for child care services. Moreover, an additional recovery might be justified on the basis of grief and loss of companionship.
Punitive damages may be awarded in a wrongful death case if the defendant’s actions were particularly reckless or heinous. Punitive damages are a means of punishing the defendant for her action and are awarded at the discretion of the jury.
Any damages recovered are distributed among the survivors subject to the statutes of each state. Courts frequently divide an award based on the extent of each beneficiary’s loss.
Limitations on Recovery of Damages
Some states limit the amount of money that can be recovered in a wrongful death action. For example, many state and local governments that waive sovereign immunity set a maximum amount of damages that can be recovered for a wrongful death. However, a number of states do not limit the amount of damages for wrongful death.
If you have lost a loved one due to a circumstances that you believe warrant a wrongful death claim, contact Lebowitz and Mzhen may be able to help you. We are a personal injury law firm that represents clients in Maryland, Washington D.C., and the surrounding areas who have been injured or lost a loved one as a result of someone’s negligent behavior. Contact Lebowitz and Mzhen to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.
Related Web Resource:
Missing In Aruba: The Natalee Holloway Case, CourtTv.com