Wrongful death suits can be filed when an immediate family member is killed as a result of someone else’s misconduct. These lawsuits are intended to help grieving families seek justice and make up for some of the financial losses that occur when a person dies unexpectedly. Though most people think of wrongful death lawsuits in connection with car accidents or other acts of negligence, they can also come into play when a person is killed as the result of a violent crime. Take, for example, the recent case of a Staten Island woman whose mother was murdered by the woman’s father. After the murder, the daughter sued her dad for wrongful death. That lawsuit resulted in a judgment of $32 million in her favor. Some of the money will come from the father’s pension plan, which the daughter has access to under New York’s “Son of Sam" law. The “Son of Sam" law, named after an infamous serial killer, allows crime victims and their families to seek financial compensation from convicted criminals. In this case, the daughter’s attempt to recover compensation was almost thwarted. Shortly after the defendant was convicted, he filed for divorce from his second wife. As part of his divorce agreement, he gave his pension to his ex-wife. However, since it appeared the transfer was simply a ruse to prevent the daughter from gaining access to the pension, a state Supreme Court justice threw out the agreement and awarded the pension to the daughter. Given all of the legal complexities and extreme emotions that can be involved in a wrongful death suit, an experienced New York City wrongful death attorney can be of enormous benefit. An attorney can help families navigate the process and hold parties responsible for their actions. Source: Staten Island Live, “Judge: Staten Island woman deserves killer father’s NYPD pension," Sept. 20, 2012
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