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Well, a wrongful death claim is very simply a claim where someone acted negligently and the personal injury that occurred was so severe that the injured party died. Sometimes they die right away – your classic car accident case. Sometimes they die in the operating table if we’re talking about medical negligence claims.
We’ve handled probably dozens of wrongful death cases over the years. We just settled a bad baby case out of North Dakota where a baby was born dead because the darn OB/GYN just took his time in the middle of the night to come in and take care of this poor woman who was bleeding like crazy. They range from settling on behalf of the family who had a infant born dead to a case where a elderly fella, who’d started a company, and – electronics company locally – another Christiansen case.
The damages issues are totally different for the loss of a child than they are for the loss of an elderly business executive; the issues of pain and compassion and grieving are common to all of them. But wrongful death is simply a negligence action – lawyers call it tort action – where a duty has been violated that resulted in death. Minnesota has a particular statute to deal with wrongful death.
Minneapolis personal injury lawyer Bill Tilton defines wrongful death lawsuit.