The Philadelphia Personal Injury Law Blog

Wrongful Death in Philadelphia

Wrongful Death claims allege, at the most basic level, that the death of a person was the fault of another. Wrongful death claims are sometimes, but not always, brought as a result of a homicide, but the burden of proof for wrongful death is lower than the crime of homicide. Wrongful death lawsuits are brought by the survivors of the deceased, typically the estate of the deceased.

A wrongful death lawsuit is often linked to other personal injury lawsuits including vehicle accidents, negligence or medical malpractice. If you’ve lost a loved one and believe that their death was caused by the actions of another person, talk to a Pennsylvania personal injury attorney to discuss your potential legal remedies.

Recently in Wrongful Death Category

Court Awards $4.7M From Cop for Wrongful Death, City Not Liable

The family of William Panas Jr. was awarded $4.7 million in damages in a wrongful death verdict against a former policeman.

But the same jury didn’t find the Police Department liable for the death and let them, and incidentally the City of Philadelphia, off the hook on the civil liability surrounding Panas’ death, reports CBS.

Panas was shot to death by off-duty police officer Frank Tepper, back in 2009. The two were reportedly neighbors.

University of Pennsylvania Fraternity Pays $3M In Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A University of Pennsylvania fraternity will have to pay $3 million to the family of a man who fell to his death at a New Year's Eve party in 2011, reports The Philadelphia Daily News.

Matthew Crozier died when he fell from the second floor to the first floor at a Phi Kappa Sigma party. According to the wrongful death lawsuit, the staircase railing was weak and resulted in the fall.

Crozier was following a girl up the stairs at the party at 3 a.m. when he tripped and fell approximately 30 feet, writes Philly Burbs. He landed on his head and was rushed to the hospital with brain injuries, dying five days later.

Officer Moses Walker's Family Sues Parole Board

The family of a slain Philadelphia police officer has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, reports CBS Philly.

The wrongful death lawsuit claims that the parole board was negligent in allowing Rafael Jones to be paroled. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the survivors of the victim sue an individual or company for negligence or misconduct that caused the death of their loved one.

The lawsuit cites flaws in the system, pointing to the fact that Jones was supposed to be under house arrest at the time he shot and killed Philadelphia Police Officer Moses Walker.

Settlement Details Released in UPMC Hamot Organ-Harvesting Case

Details of a settlement against UPMC Hamot have emerged this week, as the Erie Times-News reports that the parties have agreed to a $1.2 million payout.

The wrongful death lawsuit, which was heard in federal court, dealt with the harvesting of organs. The lawsuit claimed that the hospital, Hamot Medical Center in Erie, which apparently was unaffiliated with UPMC at the time of the alleged event, hastened the death of an 18-year old man, in order to harvest his organs.

Also named in the lawsuit was the Center for Organ Recovery and Education, reports The Associated Press.

Atco Raceway Sued for Not Making Drag Racing Safe

Drag racing is fun to watch because of its danger. Sure, it's not as dangerous as Formula 1 racing can be, because in F1 you are driving 200 mph and then are expected to turn. In drag racing, however, there are dangers in the measures taken to get your hot rod down the quarter-mile in the least amount of time.

The Atco Speedway in Camden was reminded of this danger in September 2010 when driver Jose Cruz crashed into the wall and his car burst into flames. Cruz suffered second- and third-degree burns and died a year later. His widow Evelyn Cruz is now suing the Speedway and the National Hot Rod Association for failing to provide a safe premises for drag racing.

Evelyn Cruz's Acto Speedway lawsuit alleges that when Jose Cruz crashed, the ambulance with fire extinguishers failed to start, requiring Cruz's nephew to sprint down the track with a fire extinguisher, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.

Family Sues Ryan Dunn's Estate and Barnaby's After Fatal Crash

Everyone at least knows about the TV show "Jackass." What you may not know are the names of the guys that, along with Johnny Knoxville, made money doing stunts and pranking one another. Last year, one of the "Jackass" crew, Ryan Dunn, was killed in a car accident that was likely caused by alcohol and excessive speed.

In the car with Dunn was Zachary Hartwell, who had been out with Dunn that night. Both Hartwell and Dunn were killed in crash and ensuing fire. Now Hartwell's parents are suing Dunn's estate and Barnaby's for the wrongful death of their son, according to The Pennsylvania Record.

How can a bar be liable for a death caused by a traffic accident?

T.G.I. Friday's Sued for Wrongful Death of Officer by DUI Driver

Driving under the influence is always in the news when people are injured or killed in accidents. What we don’t often hear about is what happens afterwards. Instead, we feel sad and then move on while the families are left to deal with their loss.

However, when there is a high profile DUI, we can learn about what can happen to not only the driver, but the establishment that served the driver. Philadelphia Police Officer Brian Lorenzo was killed on his way home from his shift by John D. Leck Jr. after Leck drove his Audi A6 the wrong way on I-95 and hit Lorenzo’s motorcycle, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Worker Killed Cutting Tree in Bucks County: Wrongful Death?

If you live in the north, people assume that you want to be a lumberjack. However, trees grow everywhere, so you don’t have to live in Canada to cut down trees. Unfortunately, cutting down trees is a dangerous job.

A member of a tree service crew was killed while working with a team taking down an 80-foot tree in Bucks County. A large limb started to swing while it was being lowered to the ground, and it hit Martin David Reusing of West Reading in the neck, according to WPVI-TV. Reusing died shortly after being hit.

Does his family have a wrongful death claim?

Junior Seau's Death Adds More Smoke to NFL Suit Fire

They say that correlation does not equal causation. However, at a certain point, when there's enough smoke, when do we begin to worry about putting out the fire?

This blog has been covering the NFL lawsuits extensively. It seems every few months, another tragedy strikes. A former player is diagnosed with ALS and told he only has a few years to live. Another former player commits suicide by shooting himself in the chest.

And now, Junior Seau has done the same.

Stunning Video of 2010 Duckboat Crash; Trial Starts Monday

On the eve of trial, the attorneys for the parents of two plaintiffs who died in the horrific boat Duckboat crash in 2010 have released footage of the accident, reports NBC 10 Philadelphia. The crash happened when a Ride the Ducks boat, full of passengers, stalled in the Delaware River.

After being stranded for a short time, an immense tugboat, the Caribbean Sea, crushed the diminutive tour boat, with most of the passengers still on board. Amazingly, only two people died as a result of the crash, which the NTSB has labeled a warning of the “dangers of distraction.”