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Yacht race deaths could lead to wrongful death lawsuit

Two families may become entwined in a wrongful death lawsuit after an as of yet unexplained boating accident took the lives of four men.

maritime wrongful deathTheofanis Mavromatis’ yacht, the Aegean, was found dashed to bits on April 28 this year. He and his three crew members were killed in the accident, whose cause has not been adequately explained to the families, while participating in a race from Newport Beach, California to Ensenada, Mexico. While the U.S. Coast Guard continues to investigate what happened, race organizer US Sailing concluded that the ship ran aground on North Coronado Island.

Kevin Rudolph was one of the crewmen on the yacht. His survivors served Mavromatis’ family with a “notice of petition” last Wednesday. This notice is often the first step in filing a wrongful death suit. The Rudolphs filed these papers after Mavromatis’ wife informed them that there was insurance on the yacht, and suggested they attempt to make a claim on it.

Even though filing these papers is the first step to accomplishing getting a fair share of the insurance funds, the Mavromatis family is worried it will lead to further litigation, that can result in the Rudolphs snatching control of the Mavromatis’ estate.

Legal experts claimed that there is a good chance that this dispute will become a full-blown lawsuit, especially if an agreement is not reached quickly enough.


Wrongful Death Claim Filed Against U.S. Border Patrol

On September 28, a 32-year-old woman was killed in Chula Vista by a U.S. Border Patrol agent. The incident unfolded after the woman, a mother of five, left an apartment where a different individual was being served a warrant by the agency. According to the U.S. Border patrol agent, the woman got behind the wheel of a motor vehicle and intentionally drove into the agent. The agent became entrapped on the hood of the woman’s vehicle, and felt as if his life was being threatened.

The 34-year-old agent alleges that the woman was acting aggressively, and that he had no other choice but to use deadly force to stop his assailant. He shot and killed the woman as a result of the incident. The family of the California mother claims that the she was wrongfully killed in the incident, and that the agent in question has had several prior issues with misconduct. A wrongful death claim was filed by the family against the U.S. Border Patrol.

The documents connected to the wrongful death claim show that the border patrol agent in question has been suspended on four separate occasions for reasons relating to misconduct while on the job. The agent filed a wrongful termination suit in 2004 claiming retaliation at his place of employment. The U.S Border Patrol has not commented on the impending allegations against the agent, and have yet to confirm his name. The Federal Bureau of Investigation alongside the Chula Vista police are looking into the fatal shooting.


Family of nursing home patient wins wrongful death suit

The family of a 90-year-old nursing home patient who died falling down a staircase at a nursing home in Woodland Hills recently won a wrongful death lawsuit against the nursing home’s owner, the Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF). An investigation by the California Department of Public Health resulted in an $80,000 fine against the MPTF.

The victim–an Alzheimer’s patient–was tied into her wheelchair when she fell down a stairwell at her nursing home in October 2010. The family’s case was taken to the Los Angeles Superior Court, which found that the fund had “failed to ensure an environment free of accident hazard with adequate supervision, leading to the death of a patient.”


Extended family files wrongful death suit over Marine Corps jet crash

Members of an extended family have filed a wrongful death lawsuit over the death of 4 family members in the 2008 Marine Corps jet crash in San Diego.

The plaintiffs include the husband and father of a 36-year old wife and mother killed in the accident.  Also lost in the accident were the woman’s 15-month old daughter, 2-month old daughter, and 59-year old mother.

According to the plaintiffs, their decision to take legal action came after the U.S. Department of Justice proposed “insulting” amounts of compensation for their family members’ deaths in private negotiations.

After the accident, Marine Corps officials admitted that the accident was caused by various errors on their part.  The plane was found to have experienced a mechanical failure and investigators also believe the pilot made some bad decisions as the jet was going down.


Family awarded $20 million in wrongful death suit against Toys ‘R Us

Last week, a family was awarded $20.6 million in a wrongful death lawsuit filed against toy retailer Toys ‘R Us.  The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a 29-year old mother and wife who died as a result of injuries she suffered sliding down their Toyquest Banzai inflatable pool slide.

In 2006, when the family was visiting relatives in Massachusetts, the woman slid down the slide and into the pool.  On her way down the slide, it bottomed out and she struck her head on the edge of the pool.

After the accident, the woman was left paralyzed and on life support.  The severity of her condition led her to be taken off of life support and die.

According to the lawsuit, the inflatable pool slide was imported by Toys ‘R Us from China and did not meet federal regulations on pool slides.


2 killed in car accident on I-15

This weekend, 2 people died in a tragic car accident on Interstate 15 in San Diego.  The fatal car accident occurred when a vehicle driven by a 21-year old female inexplicably stopped in the highway’s southbound lanes.

According to police reports, at around 3 a.m. on Saturday the woman’s Honda Accord stopped for unknown reasons just south of Mira Mesa Blvd.  The vehicle was struck by 2 cars traveling behind.

The 21-year old driver of the Accord was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

An off-duty police officer in one of the vehicle’s involved in the accident got out of his vehicle to render aid, and was subsequently struck by another car traveling on the interstate.  The 34-year old police officer was also killed in the accident.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ family and friends.


Drunk driver sentenced for causing fatal car accident

This week, a driver that was charged with drunk driving after causing a fatal car accident in San Diego in March was sentenced to 4 years and 4 months in prison.

The accident occurred at around 2 a.m. on the northbound 11th Avenue onramp onto Interstate 5.  Witnesses to the car accident said the driver was traveling at around 6o miles per hour on the onramp when his vehicle flipped.  A 21-year old female passenger in the vehicle became trapped and was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

Reports from the trial indicate that the driver did not drink often but had 5 to 6 small glasses of beer the night of the accident.  After the tragic accident, the driver’s blood alcohol content was tested at .1 percent.


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