When it comes to wrongful death, those closest to the victim need to be taken care of after an unfortunate accident. Wrongful death often leaves families in financial turmoil and emotional helplessness, so a wrongful death lawyer is a must when it comes to making sure that the family receives the compensation that they deserve. Lawyers see hundreds of wrongful death cases every year, but there have been some cases throughout history which have lead to massive amounts of compensation due to their severity, and we here at Robert J. DeBry and Associates have compiled a short list of the largest wrongful death cases that have occurred throughout history.
A Southern California Crash
In 2013, a 13-year-old girl watched her family pass in a fiery crash on a Southern California freeway. The girl, Kylie Asam (who was nine at the time of the accident), and her 11-year-old brother, Blaine, managed to escape their family’s totaled SUV after it was struck and got caught under a big rig which was parked on the shoulder of Interstate 210. Blaine was set to receive $8.75 million in damages after the trial but committed suicide on his mother’s birthday. Kylie is set to receive $150 million in damages, but the funds will be held in a trust fund until her 18th birthday.
The Case of Robert Middleton
In 1998, an eight-year-old boy by the name of Robert Middleton was sexually assaulted and lit on fire by a 13-year-old boy by the name of Don Collins. Middleton received serious burns over 99 percent of his body. Unfortunately, his family couldn’t avoid the involvement of a wrongful death lawyer.
In 2010, 12 years after the initial accident, Middleton died of skin cancer. The family blamed
Collin’s for Middleton’s wrongful death, claiming that the burns had caused his skin cancer. The Middleton family’s wrongful death lawyer built a case strong enough to charge Collins with wrongful death, which led to him being charged as an adult and the family receiving an astounding $150 billion in punitive damages.
These two cases are amongst the largest ever recorded, with hundreds of millions in damages being awarded to the victim’s families. However, there have been other cases where millions have been awarded to victims’ families. Although they aren’t in the hundreds of millions, they’re still quite significant wrongful death cases. Here are two other notable cases.
The Santa Rita Jail Case
Martin Harrison, a convicted felon, was suffering from alcohol withdrawal symptoms during his incarceration at Santa Rita Jail. In 2010, Harrison was killed by deputies after suffering from hallucinations, leading deputies to tase and beat Harrison to death. Almeda County and Corizon Health agreed to pay Harrison’s four children $8.3 million in damages.
A Blown Tire Case
Four-year-old Sencera Alain Smith was killed in a crash in September of 1985 when the family’s Chevrolet Blazer blew a tire. While the tire company, Rubber Manufacturing would be the main company you’d think to blame, the Tire and Battery Corporation and Grand Auto Stores also agreed to pay compensation. In total, the three companies paid the family a total of $9.05 million.
Wrongful death cases need to be taken as seriously as possible because the compensation needs to be sufficient enough to help the family get through any emotional and financial challenges. If you’re in need of a wrongful death lawyer to represent you in the event of a tragedy, contact us here at Robert J. DeBry and Associates.