When people lose loved ones in fatal accidents, Massachusetts law allows them to hold negligent parties accountable for wrongful death. This generally means that if a fatal accident is caused by another person’s act of irresponsibility, it may be possible for a victim’s loved ones to obtain compensation for funeral expenses, lost source of income and pain and suffering, among other things.
For example, a wrongful death lawsuit against the Kraft Group, the business empire of the owner of the New England Patriots, was settled earlier this month.
That wrongful death claim stemmed from the tragic drunk-driving related death of a 20-year-old Milton woman.
The young woman and her 19-year-old friend were both killed in a car accident in 2008 after drinking in the parking lot outside of Foxboro’s Gillette Stadium during the New England Country Music Festival. The car accident took place when they left the stadium, with the 19-year-old behind the wheel.
Another young woman who was also in the car survived.
In the aftermath of this tragedy, the 20-year-old victim’s father filed a wrongful death action against the Kraft Group, claiming that it failed in its duty to police the parking lot for underage drinkers and those tailgating without tickets.
A settlement was reached in the case outside of court, and no details of that settlement have been released publicly.
As is seen in this case, wrongful death actions are important not only so that a victim’s surviving loved ones are not financial burdened by their loss, but also in order to expose dangerous situations. Hopefully, in the aftermath of this case, the parking lots at Gillette will be better secured to prevent additional tragedies.
Source: Boston Herald, “Davis, Kraft settle wrongful death suit,” Laurel J. Sweet, Nov. 5, 2013