The state of Texas recognizes that a wrongful death has occurred when someone is killed through the negligent, careless or unskilled actions of another. In most wrongful death cases filed in Texas, juries are permitted to seek punitive damages in cases where a person's wrongful death was caused by especially egregious actions. In other words, punitive damages are often awarded as a way to punish a party for his or her bad actions. Punitive damages also serve to act as a deterrent to similar future wrongful actions.
The death of any loved one is a sadly unfortunate event for any family. Even more tragic is when a family member is prematurely killed as a result of a preventable accident. In addition to their grief, the untimely loss of a family member often plunges the victim's survivors into financial hardship. Many families have difficulty even paying for funeral and burial costs, not to mention the added difficulty of having to deal with ordinary household expenses with one less source of income.
In Texas, there are only a few individuals who are authorized to seek compensation in wrongful death lawsuits. Generally, a wrongful death occurs whenever an individual is killed by the negligent or wrongful actions of another. In most cases involving a wrongful death lawsuit, the ability to file a claim or cause of action is limited to the surviving spouse, children and parents of the deceased.
Last weekend, four workers died and another was injured at a DuPont plant. In the incident that caused the deaths and injury, a faulty valve led to the release of around 100 pounds of methyl mercaptan. This insecticide component is fatal in even small amounts. Our readers in Texas might be interested to learn that the factory where the incident happened has been previously cited for problems.
Last week, we discussed the possibility of seeking exemplary damages in a wrongful death case. That information might have some of our Texas readers wondering exactly what it means when someone is suing for wrongful death or accused of wrongful death. A wrongful death claim has some very specific qualifications that must be met.
Under Texas state law the surviving spouses, children and parents of a person killed by a wrongful act are entitled to sue the responsible party for compensation. Texas defines a wrongful act as something which causes the death of another by means of negligence, carelessness unskillfulness or default.
The choices a driver makes on the road can have a profound impact on those who are on the roadways with the driver. This is especially true when the driver is driving in an unsafe manner through a construction zone that is full of workers. A recent accident along State Highway 161 in Texas is an example of how unsafe driving can rip someone away from his or her loved ones in an instant.
A 28-year-old Dallas man died on the morning of July 10 while he was working in a vacant Haltom City building. The former Hawk Electronics building was undergoing an interior demolition before being remodeled by its new owners. Reportedly the ceiling collapsed on top of the man. According to the local fire chief, part of the floor of the second story came down on the man, burying him under concrete and steel. He had to be dug out of the heavy debris but was pronounced dead on the scene. Two other workers in the former Hawk Electronics building sustained minor injuries. They both declined medical treatment.
Houston police say a 31-year-old man was driving drunk when his SUV collided with a car and killed four people. The June 22 accident happened around 10:00 p.m. at the intersection of Synott and Beechnut. According to police, a Honda Civic was carrying a group of four people between 60 and 80 years old from a graduation party as it traveled down Synott. That's when police say the driver of a Champion Towncar SUV ignored the red light at Beechnut and collided into the side of the Civic.
Going to the mall isn't something that most people would think of as being dangerous. In fact, most people expect that malls will have security guards on hand to help keep patrons safe. While that does happen in most cases, there are some horrible cases in which the mall doesn't provide adequate security. Sadly, a man was killed in an accident that a recent Texas lawsuit alleges is the result of improper security.