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Filing a Wrongful Death Action

It is devastating to lose a loved one. It can be particularly traumatizing when their death was caused by the wrongful conduct of another. Recently, there has been much news coverage of families who have filed wrongful death lawsuits. In one New York case, a family recently filed suit for $20 million in damages for the loss of their son who spent over two years at Riker's Island without a trial. In that case, the young man was arrested and held in jail where he began to suffer psychological turmoil. The charges against him were eventually dropped, but he continued to suffer from the devastating effects of incarceration and later committed suicide in his home. The suit alleges that the young man was maliciously prosecuted, denied his constitutional rights, and was inhumanely and cruelly punished by the city in addition to being subjected to mental and physical abuse by the city's corrections officers.

In order to bring a suit for wrongful death in New York, five elements must be met. It must be proven that:

  • A death occurred
  • The death was caused by the wrongful conduct or negligence of the defendant
  • The deceased would have been able to bring a claim for the wrongful conduct if the death had not occurred
  • There are surviving family members
  • There are monetary damages

In New York State, a parent, spouse or child may bring a claim for a wrongful death action within two years from the date of death. While family members may not recover for their own grief, they may be able to recover for the conscious pain and suffering endured by the deceased as a result of their injury. Funeral expenses, medical expenses for the injury leading to the death, and wages lost between the time of injury and death may be recovered in a suit. Also calculated into an award is the value of care, support, and nurturing the deceased provided to the family member.

If you have suffered the loss of a parent, spouse, or child due to the wrongful or negligent conduct of another, contact an attorney who is experienced in dealing with wrongful death lawsuits to discuss your legal remedies. Contact the attorneys at Sakkas, Cahn & Weiss, LLP at (212) 571-7171 today.

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