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Relatives of NJ man shot by police settle wrongful death suit

A person's sudden death is always shocking and tragic. However, when such a loss is caused by the wrongdoing of another person, the tragedy of the entire situation is often compounded. When people in New Jersey think of wrongful death lawsuits, usually the following come to mind: fatal motor vehicle accidents, fatal medical errors, nursing home deaths and medical malpractice incidents. However, a wrongful death can also be caused by a person intending to seriously wound another, and the wound turns out to be fatal.

This is the case in some police shootings, many of which have been featured in local and national news recently. In New Jersey in 2012, a 38-year-old man received a gunshot wound in the back from a local police officer. According to the officer who fired the fatal shot, the victim had been ordered to drop his gun and allegedly reached for his waistband when the policeman delivered the single deadly shot.

However, in a situation where there are few witnesses and one of them is deceased, it can be immensely difficult to figure out what really happened. This is especially true in cases of suspected negligence or misconduct on the part of someone in power, such as a police officer. Still, it is possible to hold negligent parties accountable when their wrongdoing results in death for another. In the case of the man who was shot in 2012, the family recently reached a settlement in their wrongful death lawsuit. The police officer had actually been cleared by a grand jury, but nonetheless the deceased man's family was able to receive tens of thousands of dollars in damages related to the sudden death of their loved one.

In a wrongful death situation, a family who has just lost a loved one is likely to need many things: love and support, of course, but also financial necessities related to a tragedy. These can include funeral expenses, lost wages of the deceased, hospital bills related to the incident and more. A skilled wrongful death attorney can help a family recover these damages and others to which they may be entitled following a wrongful death.

Source:, "Family of man fatally shot in back by North Jersey cop settles lawsuit," Jeff Goldman, June 16, 2016

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