Category Archives: Wrongful Death

Estate of Porch Victim Death Settles for $975,000

The mother of Sean Heflin, who died as a result of a fall from a porch, has settled her wrongful death case against the owner of the property and the management company for $975,000. Heflin, then aged 24, fell from a second floor porch in July, 2007. He initially suffered brain damage and died about six months later. Heflin's mother alleged that the defendants were negligent in that the railings were ten inches lower than what the building code of the City of Chicago required. We often use deviations from municipal ordinances or violations of building codes to prove negligence claims.

Missouri Parents File Suit Against Priest and Diocese Over Son’s Suicide

A Missouri couple has filed a lawsuit against a Catholic diocese and a retired priest, alleging that their son's 1983 suicide was the result of repeated sexual abuse by the priest.  The lawsuit names the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph and seeks damages as a result of the death of Brian Teeman who shot himself at the age of 14.  According to the allegations of the lawsuit, Teeman suffered from sexual abuse at the hands of the priest since age 11.  The diocese has faced many lawsuits in recent years for sexual abuse claims.  The diocese acknowledged that in 1983, it received a complaint about the priest committing sexual misconduct with a teenage boy.  The priest has been named as a defendant in multiple lawsuits.  It is unclear how the Plaintiffs may survive a motion to dismiss the claim based upon statute of limitations, since the suicide occurred nearly 30 years ago.  The parents may be relying upon a fraud theory to toll the statute of limitations and argue that the archdiocese suppressed information and did not share it with parishioners.

City Settles Wrongful Death Case

The City of Chicago just approved the settlement of a wrongful death case for $1.3 million.  According to the allegations of the lawsuit, the Chicago police failed to get an inmate immediate medical help after he swallowed drugs.  In July, 2010, John Coleman, Jr. was allegedly taking part in a drug sale.  Once the police saw him, he ran, and the police gave chase.  Coleman struggled with the officers who then subdued him and placed him in a vehicle.  Coleman was in distress, but the officers failed to seek medical attention.  According to a city attorney, jury verdicts of up to $5 million have been awarded in similar cases of denial of medical care.  The Hollander Law Offices recently settled a wrongful death and civil rights lawsuit involving a jail suicide case against jail personnel and Shelby County.

Yale University Sued for Wrongful Death

On September 6, 2011, the parents of a murdered student filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Yale University, accusing the college of failing to protect their daughter, Annie Le, against a laboratory co-worker, who pled guilty to her murder.  According to the family's attorney, the university knew or should have known that the attacker, Raymond Clark, had demonstrated aggressive behavior and a violent propensity toward women.  The university denied the allegations, and stated that no reasonable security measures could have presented the tragedy from happening.  Le's body was found in a research lab on the day she was to be married.  Le's family contended that the college was negligent in hiring and retaining Clark for a job that gave him unsupervised access to students and staff and for negligently monitoring his activities in the lab building.  The Hollander Law Offices litigates similar claims.  Currently, we are litigating a claim of sexual abuse against Cultural Care, Inc. in federal court in Boston for failing to properly a monitor an au pair who sexually abused a host family's child.

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