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Wrongful Death

Wrongful death is a death that results from misconduct of an individual or a company.

Misconduct can include negligence or an intentionally malicious act. It can be work-related, medical malpractice, pharmaceutical negligence, or fall under premises liability. Wrongful death is complex and you need an experienced attorney familiar with the law to fight for you. If you have lost a loved one and believe it to be wrongful death, contact Mattioli & Munley today.

Wrongful Death News

Fatal Hayride Accident Spotlights the Lack of Federal Regulations

October is a time for apple cider, doughnuts, hayrides, and haunted houses. The last thing anyone expects is to be seriously injured or lose a loved one from being thrown off a hayride. A Halloween-themed hayride in Maine turned tragic when a 1979 Jeep SUV pulling the hay wagon lost control Saturday night. The wagon careened down a hill, struck a tree and overturned. A 17-year-old girl was killed; more than 20 others were injured including the driver of the Jeep pulling the wagon. The incident marks the third hayride fatality in the U.S. this fall. The accident occurred during the Gauntlet Haunted Night Ride at Harvest Hill Farm in Mechanic Falls, Maine, about 25 miles southwest of Augusta. The flatbed trailer was being pulled near a haunted house when it apparently missed a turn at the top of a hill. The trailer jackknifed and the Jeep went off the narrow, steep road. The trailer hit a tree, throwing its passengers to the ground. Authorities believe a mechanical problem prevented the SUV pulling the wagon from stopping. State police are looking to determine if the Jeep’s brakes were in working order and have been calculating the passengers’ weight to determine if the hay wagon was overloaded. The farm remains closed while an investigation is ongoing. While state fire marshals inspect and license mechanical amusement rides, most states, including Maine, have no federal regulations in place for operating hayride and a license is not required. This means that innocent people are left in the dark about which ride is safe for their families; few are aware of the lack of... read more

Seventh Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed In Building Collapse

A wrongful death suit was recently brought against the Salvation Army thrift store, as well as others, by the family of Danny C. Johnson, 59, who lived 23 days after being pulled from the rubble of last year’s Salvation Army thrift store wall collapse. Filed in Common Pleas Court, the lawsuit names Johnson as the seventh fatality from the collapse that killed six people and injured fourteen in June 2013. Johnson was in the thrift store when an unsupported four-story brick wall of the adjoining building – being demolished – collapsed on the store, leveling it. His legs were crushed and he suffered a minor heart attack. “Johnson’s previous heart-asthma-related issues were exacerbated by his injuries that day,” the suit claims. Johnson was hospitalized for nine days, sent home in a wheelchair and returned to the hospital a few times where he later died. The wrongful death suit wasn’t immediately filed because attorneys wanted to be sure that Johnson’s death was a direct result of the building collapse. “Medical records and a forensic pathologist have confirmed his death was caused by those injuries in this preventable tragedy.” The suit alleges STB and the Salvation Army “failed to take the necessary steps” to protect customers and employees, and the demolition was done in an “incompetent, reckless and outrageous” manner. Read full article... read more

What Constitutes Grounds for a Wrongful Death Civil Lawsuit?

A recent decision in favor of the plaintiff in a Virginia civil lawsuit illustrates one of the more unique grounds for bringing, and succeeding with, a wrongful death claim. Jurors essentially determined that the defendant had been negligent in failing to act to prevent the death of his wife from the combined effects of intoxication and exposure. The details of the case, which concluded in Westmoreland County, VA, on May 1, 2014, show a troubled marriage and severely strained relations between the parents and the one daughter who filed the suit. Facts all parties agreed to were that that husband and wife argued, the wife had used alcohol and the sleep medication Ambien shortly before losing her life, and that 48 hours elapsed between when the man last saw the woman and when her body was found frozen and covered in snow about 80 yards from the home they shared in Hague, VA. According to the Free Lance-Star, the plaintiff accused her step-father of “wrongful, negligent, intentional and/or malicious acts” in neither notifying police that her mother had gone missing nor going out to find her. The father testified in court that he believed his wife had been attempting suicide, could not do so quickly and left the home simply to get away from him. He further said he did not search for her himself because he did not want to restart their fight and attract negative attention from neighbors and law enforcement officials. The defense received support from the medical examiner who had ruled the woman’s death a suicide. Partly based on that determination, police never filed murder or manslaughter charges. Jury members spent... read more

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