Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

In a medical malpractice action not unlike some Massachusetts medical malpractice cases, the defendant Emergency Medicine Physicians of New London County, LLC, appealed from the judgment of the trial court after a jury verdict was rendered in favor of the plaintiff. On appeal, the defendant claimed that there was insufficient evidence supporting the jury’s verdict and award of noneconomic damages. Specifically, it claimed that the plaintiff failed to present sufficient evidence for the jury (1) to find that the defendant’s negligence caused the death of the decedent, and (2) to award $150,000 in damages for the destruction of the decedent’s capacity to carry on and enjoy life’s activities. The Connecticut Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of the trial court.

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On November 29, 2008, the decedent was found unresponsive and was brought to a hospital emergency department, where she was treated for a suspected drug overdose by the attending emergency department physician. After the decedent’s vital signs improved and stabilized, she was discharged and returned to the home of a friend, where she was found unresponsive the next morning and was pronounced deceased.

The plaintiff alleged that the hospital was vicariously liable for the medical malpractice of the doctor in treating the decedent for a suspected drug overdose. The plaintiff claimed that the doctor’s discharge of the decedent after only four and one-half hours of observation was premature in that the doctor should have kept the decedent under medical monitoring for 24 hours, which is the period of time during which the fatal side effects of methadone toxicity may occur. If the decedent had remained under medical monitoring for the full 24 hours, the fatal overdose side effects she experienced after her discharge would have been treated, and her eventual death from methadone toxicity would have been averted.

An 18-year-old woman was fatally shot by Maine police in February. Her mother recently filed notice for a wrongful death lawsuit against the three officers who fired the shots, the town of Vassalboro, Kennebec County, the Vassalboro Police Department, and the head of the Maine State Police. She was appointed the personal representative for her daughter’s estate by a Kennebec County Probate Court judge. She is seeking $500,000 in damages.gun

The victim was shot to death on February 10th of this year on Arnold Road in Vassalboro. A 25-year-old man was also killed in the incident. He was driving a truck in which the victim was the passenger. The man allegedly rammed into a police cruiser, and two Maine police officers and the Vassalboro police chief  all fired their guns. The officers were responding to a reported robbery when the man hit the police cruiser. All three officers have been placed on administrative leave without pay since the shooting.

The woman claims that the victim was merely an innocent bystander. At the time the shots were fired, she’s said, the victim was not a threat to any of the officers or anyone else. She hadn’t committed a crime, and she wasn’t trying to escape or flee. The police didn’t need to use deadly force, she said, and “they could have took that car out.” Her notice of suit claims the agencies had inadequate training and policies to cause the use of force that caused her daughter’s death.

Last month, the parents of a man who was fatally attacked on MetroLink in 2016 filed suit for wrongful death in St. Louis Circuit Court. The plaintiffs argue that MetroLink failed to provide adequate security to prevent the attack against their son. His father said he is suing to get someone to pay attention and address the violent crime epidemic on MetroLink.

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The son died at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in April 2016, roughly two weeks after he was found with a severe head injury at the MetroLink station at 410 South Euclid Avenue–Central West End. His death was ruled a homicide, although nobody has been charged. It remains unclear who killed the victim.

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The Massachusetts Court of Appeals recently rejected arguments by a couple who lost a medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuit involving the 2009 death of their infant child. They filed suit against a doctor and a nurse in 2010 for the loss of their late daughter, who died three days after her birth.

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The mother made headlines in April 2011 after she went public with allegations that she was being discriminated against after she was notified one week after her daughter’s death that her job at the state Department of Higher Education was being eliminated. According to reports, the family’s house went into foreclosure, and the family lost their health insurance. Adding insult to injury, in April 2014, a Suffolk Superior Court jury returned a verdict for the doctor and the nurse.

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Roughly a year and a half ago, Haverhill police officers shot and killed a 42-year-old man after he crashed his car in Bath, New Hampshire. His mother has filed suit against the police department and the individual officers involved in federal court, arguing there was no imminent risk to the officers’ safety. She is suing individually and as the executor of her son’s estate.

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The case was originally filed in Grafton County Superior Court, but it was recently transferred to U.S. District Court. The mother is suing for wrongful death, violations of civil rights, civil conspiracy, negligent supervision and training, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and battery. In addition, she alleges that law enforcement violated police protocol. As defendants, she lists the Haverhill Police Department, the Grafton County Sheriff’s Office, two officers, and a sergeant. She alleges that the department’s unconstitutional policies resulted in the July 2015 shooting of her son.

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On behalf of her late husband, Reisa Clardy recently filed suit in Middlesex Superior Court for wrongful death against the man accused of killing Massachusetts State Trooper Thomas Clardy in a fatal car crash. The lawsuit, which seeks $20 million in damages, alleges that Mr. Clardy died “as a result of the grossly negligence or malicious, willful, wanton or reckless conduct of the defendant.”

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The defendant, 30-year-old Webster resident David Njuguna, collided with Clardy’s cruiser in March 2016. Trooper Clardy was stopped on the Massachusetts Turnpike, filling out a citation during a vehicle stop, when Mr. Njuguna’s sedan crashed into the rear of the cruiser without braking. Mr. Njuguna was allegedly traveling over 80 mph and was later found to have marijuana in his system. Following the crash, Trooper Clardy was taken to the hospital and shortly thereafter pronounced dead.

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In December 2012, Adam Lanza used Remington Arms’ Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle to kill 26 people, including 20 first-graders, at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. In December 2014, nine families affected by the shooting filed suit for wrongful death against Camfour, Inc. (a firearms distributor), Riverview Gun Sales (the now-defunct Connecticut dealer), and Remington Arms in Connecticut Superior Court, seeking to hold the firearms companies accountable for the tragedy.

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The lawsuit claimed the military-style assault rifle used in the Newtown attack should never have been sold to the gunman’s mother, Nancy Lanza (who was also killed in the attack), since it lacked a reasonable civilian purpose.

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Roughly three years ago, Danvers High School teacher Collen Ritzer was raped and murdered by a student. Her family recently filed suit in Essex County Superior Court against the town of Danvers, Massachusetts and the Danvers School Department. The Ritzer family seeks answers to numerous questions related to the horrific events resulting in their daughter’s death in October 2013. Sinks

Ritzer was 24 at the time of her death. She was in her second year teaching math at Danvers High School. Her assailant was a new student at the school, recently having moved from Tennessee to Danvers. He was a student in Ritzer’s freshman math class.

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The parents of a Somerset, Massachusetts girl who choked on a marshmallow at a party have filed suit against the host family for wrongful death. The lawsuit was filed on July 11 and seeks undetermined pecuniary damages. The complaint alleges that their daughter would still be alive if not for the hosts’ negligence.marshmallow

Azriel Estabrooks died at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in April. The girl was taken to the Providence, Rhode Island hospital for specialized treatment after being found unconscious at a friend’s birthday party. She was hospitalized for seven days before she passed away. Ariel was 11.

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The Massachusetts Court of Appeals recently upheld the victory of the administratrix of the estate of decedent Jeanne Ellis in her lawsuit against Dr. Peter Clarke for wrongful death and malpractice. The jury determined that defendant Dr. Peter Clarke was negligent in his care and treatment of Ellis and that his negligence was a substantial contributing factor causing Ellis’s death from lung cancer. Clarke appealed from the denial of his motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict and for new trial or, in the alternative, remittitur. The court affirmed.

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Dr. Clark contended that the motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (judgment n.o.v.) was improperly denied because the evidence at trial was insufficient for a number of reasons. He first argued that one of Ellis’ expert witnesses, Dr. Luchs, a radiologist, was unqualified to render an opinion on standard of care because he was not an emergency radiologist. The appeals court found that the the trial court correctly determined that Dr. Luchs was qualified; he is a diagnostic radiologist who specializes in vascular and interventional radiology. Throughout his career, he had read and reported chest x-rays from emergency departments.  Dr. Luchs had substantially similar education and training as both Dr. Clarke and Dr. Abujudeh, one of Clarke’s experts. Moreover, Dr. Luchs testified that his job often required him to read x-rays in an emergency room setting. For these reasons, the appeals court concluded that there was no abuse of discretion in admitting his testimony.

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