Let’s take a look at a case we heard about where there was a $1.5
million settlement for the young daughter of an unarmed man shot to death
by a transit officer. This case didn’t make it to court, as transit
officials agreed to settle out of court. It took one very long year for
the fiancée of the deceased, who is raising their 5-year-old daughter,
to get the award which is still to be approved by a judge.

The facts of the case involve a transit officer and several young adult
males, who were pulled off a train onto a transit platform, for fighting.
According to the defendant, the transit officer, his intention was to
use a stun gun on the deceased as he lay face down on the platform. Instead
of using the stun gun, the officer pulled his handgun and shot the man.

The whole incident was caught on videotape by a number of eyewitnesses
and went viral as a video on the Internet. The death caused a great deal
of public outrage and numerous protests. The video was used for evidence
in a preliminary hearing. In light of the video, mediation was attempted,
but only one of two plaintiffs, the fiancée, was offered a settlement.
The deceased’s mother has not settled and it is expected that her
case will make its way to court.

The fiancée’s settlement will amount to an annual allowance,
something most commonly referred to as a structured settlement, and once
the youngster turns 18, and she will have access to more money. The payout,
with interest over a 20 year period is estimated to be between $4 million
and $5 million. It was a tough case, as it is difficult to actually calculate
how much is lost financially due to the death of the father. Obviously
the attorney representing the fiancée realized the goal was to
secure the child’s financial future.

The whole point of
wrongful death cases is something that a great many people don’t understand. They
are not about revenge. They are about financial compensation for the loss
of a beloved member of the family who provided income, companionship and
other invaluable services as a member of that family unit. Wrongful death
cases are about making sure those who suffered such a devastating loss
are able to go forward with their lives, knowing they have the finances
to carry on.

Cases like this one may happen to anyone. Every day someone dies due to
the negligence of another. Every day someone contemplates the merits of
filing a wrongful death suit. It takes guts and courage to go forward
with something like this after such a horrendous loss. Negligence that
takes another’s life is negligence that needs to face the call to
justice for the victim’s family.