Wrongful Death: Avoidable Accidents

Accidents That Could Have Been Avoided

One example of a wrongful death case is the Philadelphia duck boat accident of 2010 that killed two young Hungarian tourists on the Delaware River. The tourist boat was carrying 37 people when it collided with a barge. The accident was avoidable, although the company that operated the popular ride had done little to enforce safety on each voyage. The families of the 16- and 20-year-olds who died in the accident pursued the duck boat company for compensation. The wrongful death cases ended up settling outside the courtroom in 2012 for $17 million.

Another case involved the shooting death of Erik Scott at a Costco in 2010. Scott was an employee of Costco, where he was shopping, rather than working, the day of his death. Scott entered the Costco carrying his registered concealed handgun, when he was told he could not shop with the gun in the store. Scott’s family and their attorney say that when another employee phoned police about Scott carrying the weapon in the store, the caller exaggerated descriptions of Scott’s actions, demeanor and intentions. After Scott reportedly raised his gun at police officers, they shot and killed him. The lawsuit remains pending.  Finally, the most well-known and recent example of wrongful death in the news takes place on the famous Italian cruise ship that sank off the coast of Italy in early 2012. Ultimately, 32 people lost their lives that day, and many more were injured due to the negligence of the ship’s captain, Francesco Schettino. Not only did Schettino navigate the Costa Concordia too close to the reef, but he also failed to follow protocol and abandoned his ship with passengers still stranded aboard.  Since that time, more and more families of the victims aboard the ship have been seeking legal counsel in an effort to recover compensation for physical, emotional and financial losses related to the accident. Although many families of the deceased have already filed suit, many more are expected to come forward in future. The suits are generally expected to name the ship’s captain and the ship’s owner — a subsidiary of Carnival Cruise Lines — as defendants.

What to Do Following a Loss

Knowing what to do if you or someone you know loses a loved one at the fault of another person or company is paramount to recovering retribution for your losses. Financial compensation is legally and rightfully available to the families of wrongful death victims — but only if you take the right course of action. It is important to contact a wrongful death attorney immediately following a loss. A personal injury and wrongful death attorney understands the legal rights of wrongful death victims and will relentlessly pursue just compensation on your behalf.