You might have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Washington if your loved one is killed because of another person’s negligence or wrongful act. Here are a few examples of recent wrongful death claims filed in Washington:

Case Example 1

In 2013, Dan Schulte’s parents were killed by a drunk driver while crossing the street in a Seattle neighborhood. Schulte’s wife and infant son were injured in the accident. The drunk driver, Mark Mullan, had previously been arrested for driving under the influence and was under the Seattle Municipal Court’s supervision.

Schulte filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Seattle, alleging that Mullan’s probation officer failed to monitor him appropriately. Mullan did not have a court-required interlock device installed in his truck, and his blood alcohol level was almost three times the legal limit when he crashed into the family. The city recently settled the wrongful death and personal injury lawsuit for $13 million, $6.5 million of which the city will pay itself (the rest is being paid by insurance providers).

Case Example 2

In April 2017, Gabrielle Corriette and Michael Thurman filed a wrongful death lawsuit against their adoptive father, Dwayne Thurman, who shot and killed their mother, Brenda Thurman, in the chest in January 2016. Dwayne Thurman claimed that it was an accident and that the gun went off while he was cleaning it. (Criminal charges were also filed against him, but that is a separate lawsuit.) The children recently agreed to settle the wrongful death suit for an undisclosed amount.

Case Example 3

A Washington woman died four months after falling down an escalator at Portland International Airport in June 2017. Bernice Kekona, 75, was traveling from Hawaii to Spokane with a layover in Portland. According to the wrongful death lawsuit filed by her family, gate agents provided her with a wheelchair but left her alone at the top of the skybridge. Kekona was confused and fell down the escalator. She was initially taken to the hospital for treatment and died several months later.

Her family is suing Alaska Airlines and Huntleigh USA, the company that Alaska Airlines contracts with to provide gate-to-gate assistance like what Kekona’s family requested. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Washington, and the judge recently denied Alaska Airlines’ motion to dismiss the case.

Case Example 4

In 2016, 19-year-old Marc Moreno died in his jail cell in Benton County. He was arrested eight days prior for allegedly disruptive behavior at a mental health facility. Moreno’s family says he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. According to the county coroner, Moreno had synthetic cannabis in his system and died from dehydration and an irregular heartbeat. It’s unclear whether he was eating or drinking enough.

Moreno’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit, and Benton County agreed to pay $1.2 million as a part of a settlement agreement.

Contact a Yakima Wrongful Death Lawyer

If you need help filing a wrongful death claim, don’t hesitate to reach out to the attorneys at Kapuza Lighty PLLC today. We can help you seek compensation for your loved one’s untimely death, including medical costs, funeral and burial expenses, and pain and suffering.


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