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Wrongful Death in Boston

Wrongful Death is when a person dies as a result of the negligence or misconduct of another person, company or entity. A wrongful death action is typically commenced by the deceased's immediate family members, such as the victim’s spouse, children or parents. The family members can file a wrongful death claim whether the loved one's death was accidental or intentional. The most common types of wrongful death cases occur from medical malpractice, car accidents, or criminal behavior. If a loved one has died and you feel that someone else may be responsible, a Boston Personal Injury lawyer can help you understand if you have a personal injury case.

Recently in Wrongful Death in Boston:

Woman Crushed to Death in Drawbridge Accident

A tragic accident at the Meridian Street drawbridge crushed a woman and killed her.

The woman was crossing the drawbridge when it began rising for a boat. When the drawbridge was raised, the woman fell and was crushed by the bridge, according The Boston Herald.

Although officials are classifying the death as an accident, Boston's Public Works Department could be liable for the woman's death.

State Trooper Suspended After Fatal Crash

A Boston state trooper has been suspended without pay indefinitely, after having been charged with killing both a mother and daughter last month in a head-on car crash in Plymouth. John Basler, 25, also injured himself in the crash, reports the Boston Herald.

The accident occurred on the night of September 22. Basler was also charged with operating a vehicle under the influence (OUI), and his license has been suspended.

What other legal concerns might be raised from this incident? Here are some possibilities:

Family Sues After Stowaway Teen Fell Out of Airplane Wheel

While this lawsuit is happening in Charlotte, North Carolina, the bizarre events leading up to this case took place in Boston. At least partially.

Boston was where the teen's body was found. The teen is the subject of this wrongful death lawsuit, as his body fell out of a plane that was Boston-bound, back in 2010.

Sounds like a straightforward airplane negligence lawsuit, doesn't it?

New Bedford Police Sued Over Erik Aguilar's In-Custody Death

A wrongful death lawsuit is being filed on behalf of a New Bedford man who died in police custody, reports The Associated Press.

The 42-year old man, Erik Aguilar, was cuffed in a convenience store parking lot while being left face-down in July 2010. During that time, he stopped breathing and his heart failed. According to the lawsuit, police waited four minutes before administering CPR on him.

Driver Not Guilty of Homicide, But Wrongful Death Suit May Follow

The O.J. Simpson case brought a relatively obscure fact about the legal system to light: Even if someone is cleared of a criminal charge, he can still be found civilly liable for the same act. That's because there's a lower burden of proof for civil cases.

This may come into play after Erika Salloux of Cambridge was found not guilty of motor vehicle homicide by negligent operation and negligent driving in the 2011 crash that killed 16-year-old Blake Van Hoof Packard in Provincetown, according to the Cape Cod Times. The non-jury trial was decided by a judge who found there was reasonable doubt as to whether Salloux had negligently killed Van Hoof Packard.

But just because there was a reasonable doubt, does that mean the family can't bring a wrongful death lawsuit?

Witnesses to Wellesley Bike Crash Key to Wrongful Death Suit

When bicycles are on the road they are supposed to be treated the same as automobiles. But cyclists have a duty to allow other vehicles to pass them as easily as possible. The Massachusetts legislature passed a bill that specifically addressed these issues in 2008 to better protect cyclists, and to make cyclists protect themselves by following the rules of the road.

It's not clear if these rules were being followed when the driver of an 18-wheeler struck and killed a bicyclist in Wellesley on Aug. 24. Investigators are searching for witnesses, many of whom have been identified by traffic cameras, according to the Boston Globe.

If the cyclist's relatives sue the driver and trucking company (if they are different), then they will also need to hear from these witnesses for a wrongful death lawsuit to succeed.

Springfield Woman Dies in Three-Car Crash; Wrongful Death?

Cars are dangerous; they are even labeled deadly weapons when used improperly. Yet we drive around like we are invincible, getting angry and driving faster when someone is driving too slow for our taste. In Massachusetts alone, there were on average over 140,000 car crashes a year between 2006 and 2008, with 4,000 resulting in serious injuries and 400 resulting in death.

Adding to this year's statistics is a three-car crash in Springfield that claimed the life of a 34-year-old woman who was a passenger in a 2001 Ford Explorer, according to the Boston Globe. The accident occurred on I-291 westbound, but police have not yet released more details about the crash.

Could the surviving driver be liable for his passenger's death?

Pregnant Woman Hit by Car on Due Date

On the first day of June in Attleboro, Danni Bultemeier was due to give birth, but instead was hit by a car that jumped the curb, according to WBZ-TV. Luckily for Bultemeier, 14-year-old Alycia Leblanc pushed her away from the full force of the impact, reports WPRI.

The two were in line outside a food pantry when the car plowed into the group, reports WBZ-TV. WBZ continues that Bultemeier remembers being up on the hood of the car with her feet at the bumper and then sliding off onto the ground.

On Saturday, three Boston University exchange students were killed in New Zealand when their bus flipped over. New Zealand police have charged the driver of the van with careless driving causing death, and careless driving causing injury, the Boston Herald reports.

While criminal charges have been brought, could the families of the deceased students bring civil actions against the driver as well?

On Wednesday, the family of an alleged victim of notorious Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger requested that their civil suit be allowed to continue against former FBI officials, The Associated Press reports.

According to the suit, Michael Donahue was killed when Bulger and another man opened fire on an alleged FBI informant. In 2007, a judge ruled that the FBI was responsible for the death of Donahue and awarded his family $6.3 million. However, that judgment was later overturned by the First U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.