Wrongful death lawsuits are civil law cases that can be pursued by the families of people who have died. If the individual died as the result of the fault or negligence of another party, the family could get compensation.
Why is Wrongful Death in the News?
The US Court of Appeals is currently considering a wrongful death suit brought by the mother of a deceased woman. The deceased was murdered by a co-worker at Home Depot USA Inc., and the company is being sued by the mother. She believes that the company failed to protect her daughter, and that’s why the lawsuit came about.
The plaintiff claims that a series of complaints about the co-worker were made by her daughter but that nothing was done to help or protect her. But because the murder happened outside of work, the company claims that they hold no responsibility for what happened. However, the plaintiff believes that because his behaviour suggested he was a danger to her daughter, something could have been done to prevent what happened. The issue of foreseeability is the crucial part of this case, and that’s what the decision will rest on.
What This Means for Employers
So, why is this case so important for businesses and employers? If the case is successful, it will set a new precedent, meaning that other cases that are similar in nature could follow this one. In turn, this will mean that companies will have to take a new approach to dealing with employee safety and how they safeguard each person who works for the company.
The increased liability that employers will have to face will force them to pay more attention to problems brought to them by employees. No business is going to want to risk missing something that could be prevented because it might result in them having to pay out a large sum of money. They won’t want that to happen. But it could also be a very good thing for employees. Better safeguards and more active protection could help to keep more people safe and out of danger. The Dixon Injury Firm and companies like it could handle more of these cases in the years ahead.
Past Examples of Companies Paying Out Big
Home Depot USA Inc. is certainly not the first company to face a wrongful death lawsuit. And it probably won’t be the last either. Although this particular case could set a new precedent, there are plenty of companies that have had to pay out pretty large sums to the families of victims who have died as a result of their actions or inactions. When singer and actress Aaliyah died in a plane crash, Virgin Records were forced to pay compensation to the family. They had known that there were safety concerns with the airline but booked the flight regardless.
Back in the 1970s, Ford had to pay out compensation to the families of people who died in the car. This happened to so many people because the gas tank was at the rear of the car, meaning a rear collision often led to a large explosion.