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Texas Personal Injury News

Monday, August 28, 2017

Wrongful Death at Denny’s?

Q: Can a wrongful death lawsuit stem from a criminal activity?

Someone going to a Denny's restaurant might order a slam from the menu. What they would not expect would be a fatal chokehold on the side. But that's exactly what was reportedly served up to one man at the popular chain one night. And it wasn’t delivered by the staff.

The wrongful death attorneys for one Houston-area family are seeking damages in a civil action against a deputy-sheriff and her husband in connection with a chokehold incident that left a man dead.

Reportedly, the deputy’s husband—described as a trained mixed martial arts fighter-- had an altercation with a young man who he claims allegedly urinated in public and then threw the first punch when confronted. The off-duty deputy reportedly arrived to join her family at the restaurant and then also became involved with her husband in restraining the victim who eventually became unresponsive and was rushed to the hospital. She reportedly called for assistance from the Sherriff’s office and EMTs. About a minute of the altercation was captured on video by witnesses.

An autopsy report indicated the man died from "anoxic encephalopathy due to strangulation with chest compression" after three days on life-support. Both the deputy-sheriff and her husband have been criminally charged with murder. In addition, some responding officers were reportedly officially reprimanded for their actions as well.

A wrongful death action is often brought by the close surviving relatives of a victim whose death was caused by the negligence, reckless, or intentional actions or inactions of another person or entity and has left behind relatives who are suffering emotionally and financially due to the victim’s death. In this case, the victim left a 4-year old daughter and her mother behind without his financial support.

In addition to a criminal action, wrongful death actions often arise from the following:

  • Automobile or other transportation accident
  • Exposure to toxic substances or hazardous conditions
  • Medical
  • malpracticeSupervised activity that results in death

Once liability is established, compensatory damages in a wrongful death action may include loss of support, loss of services, loss of prospective inheritance, medical and funeral expenses and punitive damages, depending upon the particular circumstances and the relationship between the victim and the family member. A skilled personal injury attorney can determine who has standing to sue as wrongful death cases are very complex.

If you are a loved one has been injured or loved one has been killed as the result of the actions of another, the attorneys at Chandler, Mathis & Zivley, P.C. can help. Contact us today for a free consultation. We can't undo your suffering, but we can aggressively fight to obtain compensation to help relieve the financial burden of your loss. With offices in Houston and Lufkin, we serve clients throughout East Texas as well as many other states.

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Chandler, Mathis & Zivley, PC has offices located in Houston and Lufkin Texas and serves clients throughout East Texas as well as many other states.
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