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Bronx Personal Injury & Real Estate Blog

Monday, September 17, 2018

The Relationship Between a Criminal Case and a Civil Wrongful Death Suit

Q: Does a criminal action impact a wrongful death claim arising from the same incident?

One of the most disturbing kinds of wrongful death cases to handle is one that involves the death of an innocent baby. Such cases are shocking to the conscience, especially when due to the actions of someone whose nature would be expected to be nurturing – – like a mother or a nurse.

A New York wrongful death lawsuit was brought against a licensed practical nurse who was "accused of scalding a disabled toddler" in a bath so hot that it caused "severe burns" that "peeled off the girl’s skin ". The girl died a few days later and the nurse was apprehended while allegedly attempting to flee the country.

Originally, the nurse was criminally charged with second-degree murder, but as a result of an alleged plea arrangement, she will receive a four-year prison sentence. She reportedly waived her right to appeal and admitted in open court to causing the baby's death by placing her in hot water.

Wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits very often give rise to criminal charges. But the outcome of a criminal case, if any is brought, does not impact the victim’s (or their surviving relative’s) ability to pursue a civil lawsuit to collect money damages.

When someone is injured as a result of the negligent, reckless, or intentional actions of another person or entity, they may commence a personal injury lawsuit to collect damages for their physical and psychological pain. But when the victim dies from their injuries, their surviving close relatives may be entitled to compensatory damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. Such lawsuits are complicated as it must be decided on a case-by-case basis who has the standing to commence such a lawsuit and what damages they can recover.

In the case at hand, the wrongful death lawsuit named not only the nurse individually, but also the organization that assigned her to the family.

If you or a loved one has been injured or a loved one has been killed as a result of the actions of somebody else, the Goldstein Law Firm can help maximize the compensation to which you may be entitled. Contact us today for a free consultation.

From our office in the Bronx, New York, we represent injured victims and their families throughout New York City and New York State, as well as those injured while visiting New York.


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