Wrongful Death, Nanny, Baby

On January 14, 2013, Irish nanny Aisling Brady McCarthy was babysitting a 1 year old girl, Rehma Sabir, she had watched for six months in Cambridge, a suburb of Boston. Something occurred and the baby suffered a catastrophic brain swelling and bleeding which ultimately ended her life.

Shortly thereafter, McCarthy was charged with the murder of the little girl. The theory was that McCarthy shook the baby which caused the brain injury. McCarthy spent two years in prison fearing for her life since “baby killers” were considered the lowest of the low. Over time the prisoners all believed she was innocent. Two attorneys took her case and were able to free her from her life sentence due to a lack of evidence that could prove beyond a reasonable doubt McCarthy was guilty.

Now five months removed from prosecutors dropping the murder charges and with McCarthy back in her home of Ireland, the family of the deceased girl has filed a wrongful death claim against McCarthy. The wrongful death claims states that McCarthy is responsible for the death of their daughter due to McCarthy’s “negligent, malicision, willful, wanton, reckless and/or grossly negligent acts.” According to the father, they will drop the claim if McCarthy signs an agreement stating she will not to profit from the incident. They said they will not even ask McCarthy to sign an admission of culpability.

Wrongful Death in Texas

This section is in regard to the Texas statute in the Civil Practices and Remedies Code, Title 4 (Liability in Tort), Chapter 71 (Wrongful Death; Survival; Injuries Occurring Out of State).

What qualifies as a wrongful death claim? Who is liable?

This section is in regard to the above named Texas statute under Subchapter A (Wrongful Death).

The first thing to know about wrongful death claims in Texas is that a claim may only be brought by someone if the individual who died would have been able to bring a claim for the injury that caused their death if the individual would not have died. A wrongful death claim may be brought by one or more of the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased. Even if only one brings the action, all of the qualified plaintiffs may benefit.

It is important to understand is that Texas qualifies unborn children, from conception to the moment just before birth, as individuals with rights. The plaintiff is required to provide evidence that the mother was pregnant at the time of the unborn child’s death. Therefore, if an unborn child cannot be born alive because of the actions of another, a wrongful death claim may be pursued against the liable party. A liable party can be an individual person, a group of people, a person’s representative, or a company. If a liable party is an individual that dies before the completion of a wrongful death lawsuit, the executor or administrator of the liable party’s estate may be named the defendant. However, a liable cannot be:

·         The mother of an unborn child;

·         A doctor or other health care provider who performed a consented medical procedure and death was the intended result;

·         A party who lawfully gave a drug to another and death resulted from using that drug; or,

·         A doctor or other medical provider performed a lawful medical procedure and death resulted.

The most common reason for wrongful death cases is the wrongful action, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default of a liable party. A wrongful action is doing something the liable party should not have done such as intentionally pushing a ladder over while someone is on it. Neglect is not doing something the liable party should have done such as not putting warning notifications where a hazard exists. Carelessness occurs when the liable party is not being careful such as a medical provider not following the proper protocol when handling a sick patient. Unskillfulness of a liable party happens when the liable party is not qualified to do something such as someone getting shot at a gun safety class because a brand new, unsupervised instructor-in-training was leading the course. Default is the failure of the liable party to do something required by law such as a company not pulling children’s toys off of store shelves when the government recalls the products because the paint has too much lead.

What if the deceased died in another state or country?

This section is in regard to the above named Texas statute under Subchapter C (Act or Omission Out of State).

Even if the deceased died outside of Texas, it is still possible for Texas to be the venue of the lawsuit. If Texas is the venue, then Texas law must apply. The four requirements for this to occur are:

1.       A law in Texas, the other state, or the other country allow for the case to be held in Texas;

2.       The case began within the necessary time frame that Texas requires under its statute of limitations for that type of case;

3.       The case began within the necessary time frame the other state or country requires under its statute of limitations for that type of case; and,

4.       Only if another country is involved, that country has equal treaty rights with the United States on behalf of that country’s citizens.

 

What happens to lawsuits still pending that the deceased is a plaintiff?

This section is in regard to the above named Texas statute under Subchapter B (Survival).

If the deceased had lawsuits still in motion at the time of death, the lawsuits are still alive. Any award or compensation earned through the lawsuits would go to the heirs, legal representatives, and estate of the deceased. The cases will continue as if the deceased were still alive.

Legal Commentary

When unexpected deaths like that mentioned above occur, it is important that the victim’s family members meet with an attorney to weigh their options, and establish an effective plan of action for filing a wrongful death claim. Filing a wrongful death claim against the responsible party will protect the surviving family members from being burdened with expensive, unexpected medical bills, and final expenses. Using an attorney to negotiate with the insurance companies and handle all of the legal aspects of the accident gives the grieving family members more time to do just that - grieve, spend time together, and work towards finding closure after experiencing such a tragic loss. Losing a loved one is never easy to endure, but being distressed over medical and final expenses are burdens that an experienced wrongful death attorney can help mitigate for the victim’s family. If you have been directly affected by an incident that caused the wrongful death of a loved one like the story mentioned above, the successful wrongful death and personal injury attorneys at the Fears | Nachawati Law Firm can give you the legal guidance and representation needed to successfully pursue a wrongful death claim against the party held liable. For a free consultation, email us at mn@fnlawfirm.com or call our office at 1.866.705.7584.

Family sues Waco restaurant over woman's alcohol-related car accident death

The family of a woman who died in a car accident is suing the Waco, Texas, restaurant and bar where the deceased allegedly became intoxicated before the collision.

The deceased was 24-year-old Krystal Flores, a wife and mother of three. Her husband, Jose Flores, and her mother, Brenda Telles, are suing Austin’s On The Avenue, claiming the establishment holds some legal responsibility for Krystal’s accident and resulting death.

The events in question took place on February 15th. Some time after leaving the restaurant, Flores was in a collision with a pickup truck being driven by a man who was attempting to flee from the police.

However, the pickup driver, 22-year-old Oscar Martinez Banda Jr., was not charged in Flores’ death because police determined that Flores ran a red light.

According to the lawsuit, which was filed on Wednesday, Flores was served alcohol by Austin employees “after she was obviously intoxicated.” The suit further alleges that the employees “encouraged her to drive her own vehicle home.”

The lawsuit accuses Austin’s of negligence for failing to monitor the alcohol consumption of its patrons, for continuing to serve intoxicated customers, for allowing intoxicated customers to drive home and for failing to properly train and supervise its employees.

Co-owner of the restaurant Austin Brock declined comment, and said only that he was not aware the suit had been filed and is unfamiliar with the allegations made in it. 

To read more about this Texas wrongful death lawsuit, click here for the complete article.

 

If you have lost a loved one in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, contact Fears | Nachawati today for free legal advice about wrongful death lawsuits. To speak with one of our Texas wrongful death lawyers, free of charge, contact us by email at info@fnlawfirm.com or by phone at 1.866.705.7584.

 

Texas wrongful death law: an overview

A wrongful death occurs when an individual is killed due to the negligence of a third party. It gives rise to a legal action that can be brought by the deceased’s family in order to seek compensation for their loss. These are known as wrongful death lawsuits. 

 

In Texas, wrongful death lawsuits are governed by Chapter 71 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. The Texas Wrongful Death Act gives the deceased’s spouse, children and parents the right to seek financial compensation for the losses they have suffered as a result of the death. This includes both financial losses as well as the loss of companionship and support that was provided by the deceased. 

 

In addition to the deceased’s family, a Texas wrongful death lawsuit can also be brought by the executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate. Note that siblings, aunts and uncles are not eligible to bring a Texas wrongful death lawsuit.

 

If you have lost a family member in an accident, contact us today. The Texas statute of limitations gives you only two years within which to bring your wrongful death lawsuit.

 

At Fears | Nachawati, we understand the pain of losing a loved one, and we provide sensitive and caring support during this difficult time. For free legal advice on your potential wrongful death lawsuit, email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584.

 

What types of damages can a plaintiff recover in a Texas wrongful death lawsuit?

The type and amount of damages awarded in Texas wrongful death lawsuits depends in large part on the plaintiff’s relationship to the deceased victim. For example, a spouse of a deceased victim receives different damages than the child of a deceased victim. Damages is the legal term for the compensation awarded when the plaintiff’s wrongful death lawsuit is successful.

While no price tag can ever be placed on the life of a loved one, a wrongful death lawsuit helps the deceased’s family by alleviating the financial losses that they will suffer without the deceased’s income. These are known as pecuniary damages. Some of the information the court considers in determining the amount to which the plaintiff is entitled includes:

·         The amount of money the deceased earned

·         To what extent the survivors were financially dependent upon the deceased

·         Medical expenses

·         Funeral expenses

Other factors that have to be considered are the non-monetary contributions the deceased made to the family that nonetheless saved the family money. For example, a parent who cared for the children saves the family money because they do not have to place the children in daycare. Housekeeping is another example.

In addition to pecuniary damages, family members can also receive compensation for their emotional suffering, such as loss of companionship, love, affection and moral support.

Fears | Nachawati represents plaintiffs in bringing Texas wrongful death lawsuits against the parties responsible for a loved one’s death. For a free consultation email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free number at 1.866.705.7584 for a free consultation.

Wrongful death lawsuit against Dallas County jail to move forward

A judge has given the go-ahead on a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of a mentally ill woman who died in the Dallas County jail. The ruling comes two years after the initial suit was filed in 2007. 

 

The wrongful death lawsuit centers of the death of Rosie Sims, and is being brought by her three children: Tosha Sims Lee, Melissa Lomack and Archie Sims Jr.

 

According to the federal judge overseeing the case, Sidney A. Fitzwater,  there is enough evidence to pursue at least one of suit’s claims – that Sims was punished in violation of her 14th Amendment rights given the deplorable conditions of the Dallas County jail. Several other of the plaintiffs’ claims were thrown out by Fitzwater.

 

The lawsuit alleges that Sims did not receive medical treatment or routine examinations during the time she was in custody. Guards found Sims lying on the floor in her own waste in November of 2005, according to the suit, but did not take her to be examined.

 

The conditions of the Dallas County jail were found to be so poor around the time of Sims’ death that the federal government became involved and continues to oversee improvements.

 

To date, the county has lost one neglect lawsuit and settled another. The two payouts totaled nearly $2 million.

For more on the Sims’ Texas wrongful death lawsuit, click here for the full story.

Fears | Nachawati is a Texas law firm representing plaintiffs in wrongful death lawsuits. If you have lost a family member due to the negligent actions of a third party, contact us today for a free legal consultation on your potential Texas wrongful death lawsuit. Simply e-mail us at info or call us on our toll-free helpline at 1.866.705.7584.@fnlawfirm.com

Texas wrongful death lawsuits: what is negligence?

In a Texas wrongful death lawsuit, an attorney must be able to establish four things:

  • A human being has died.
  • The death was a result of a third party’s negligence.
  • The decedent has surviving family members.
  • The decedent’s surviving family members have suffered harm because of the death.

A person is negligent if their conduct departed from the conduct that could be expected from a reasonable person in the same circumstances. In less technical terms, your Texas wrongful death attorney will be proving that the defendant was acting carelessly and the decedent died as a result of that carelessness.

The theory of negligence is the basis for holding a person legally responsible in wrongful death lawsuits as well as any Texas personal injury lawsuit. All of us have a general duty to those around us to act in a reasonably safe manner. If a person fails to do so, and someone is killed as a result, then a Texas wrongful death claim may arise.

If you have lost a loved one to the negligence of a third party, contact Fears | Nachawati today to learn more about wrongful death lawsuits. We will provide you with a free, no obligation legal consultation. Simply email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us on our toll-free hotline at 1.866.705.7584.

What is a wrongful death lawsuit?

A wrongful death lawsuit is a claim brought on behalf of a person who was killed due to the negligence of a third party. The idea behind a wrongful death lawsuit is that the surviving family members of the deceased are owed compensation by the responsible party for the loss of their loved one.

In order to bring a successful wrongful death lawsuit, four things must be shown:

1.      A person has died.

2.      The deceased died as a result of the defendant’s negligence.

3.      The deceased is survived by immediate family members, such as a spouse or children.

4.      The surviving family members have suffered a monetary loss as a result of the victim’s death.

In addition to spouses and children, other family members or dependents of the victim may be eligible to bring a wrongful death claim. A Texas wrongful death lawsuit attorney can advise you on the laws in our state.

All states, including Texas, provide for some type of wrongful death claim. At Fears | Nachawati, we provide legal representation to the family members of individuals who have been killed because of the negligent actions of another person.

We can provide you with a free consultation about your potential Texas wrongful death lawsuit. Simply email us at info@fnlawfirm.com or call us at 1.866.705.7584.

South Texas car accident kills three, injures one

A head-on collision with an 18-wheeler has claimed the lives of a Manvel High School senior and her mother. The deceased victims are 40-year-old Margarita Perez and her 18-year-old daughter Elizabeth Ann Perez.

A relative of the two women, 3-year-old Isaac Joe Salas, was also killed in the accident. Elizabeth’s 21-year-old sister was injured. She was taken to a Corpus Christi hospital by a medical helicopter.

The accident took place on Saturday, May 23rd at around 7 a.m. on Highway 285.

For more about the accident and Elizabeth Ann Perez, click here for the complete article.

Car accidents involving 18-wheelers and other tractor trailers are often fatal. The typical passenger motor vehicle is no match for the size and power of these large trucks. If you have lost a family member to a car accident, contact Fears | Nachawati today at info@fnlawfirm.com or 1.866.705.7584. We will provide you with a free consultation on your potential wrongful death claim. 

Texas Roadside Memorials Drive Home the Dangers of Drunk Driving

Small white crosses along the side of the road throughout Texas…each one represents a person killed by a drunk driver in a car accident. The construction of these memorials, which are typically put in place by the victim’s family, are governed by the Texas Department of Transportation.

Two main requirements must be met in order for a family to erect a roadside memorial in Texas. First, the family must present the Department with an official document which proves that alcohol or drugs were factors in the car accident. Second, the accident must have occurred somewhere on the state highway system. Note that a driver who was killed in an accident while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is not eligible for a memorial.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving support the roadside memorials. MADD spokeswoman Karen Wrighthouse says that the crosses serve as a visual reminder to the traveling public that drunk driving is a serious issue.
 

The memorials along Texas roadsides take on a special significance, given that Texas led the nation in drunk driving accidents in 2007. That year, 12,078 people were killed in Texas alone by vehicle collisions involving alcohol.

Click here for the full article on Texas roadside memorials for victims of drunk driving.

Fears | Nachawati is a Texas-based law firm that represents victims of car accidents, including those involving drugs or alcohol. Contact us today if you or a loved was injured because of an impaired driver. info@fnlawfirm.com or by telephone 1.866.705.7584.