Whenever a loved one passes away, it is a sad and tumultuous time for the surviving family members. However, this grief is compounded when negligent actions on the part of another party contributed to the person's death. Those who are legally responsible for your loved one's death can be held accountable in the court of law by the surviving family through a wrongful death suit.
Such action can justly compensate a family's pain and suffering following their unnecessary loss. For one Pottsville, Pennsylvania family, their five-year-old wrongful death suit has been given clearance by a federal judge.
The case involves the family's deceased son, who was arrested for disorderly conduct while intoxicated. The arrested man then committed suicide, according to a Shenandoah police officer and his chief. The circumstances of the arrest and resulting death, though, were seemingly suspicious, as the lawsuit claims Shenandoah Police beat the man to death before altering the scene to make the incident look like an apparent suicide.
A federal judge allowed most of the wrongful death case to go through, but dismissed two counts of false arrest and imprisonment that were cited in the suit. The defendants maintain that the evidence against them is insufficient and does not establish the family's wrongful death case. But those claims were rejected by the federal judge, who said they could not rule on the credibility of evidence.
The incident occurred in 2004 and the deceased man's family filed the wrongful death suit in 2006. Pre-trial hearings will be held in July before the case gets underway in August.
Source: The Republican-Herald, "Judge allows federal wrongful death lawsuit against Shenandoah, police," Peter E. Bortner, Feb. 17, 2012