Widow Lillian Carter and the Estate of Terry Carter are filing a wrongful death lawsuit against Suge Knight in connection with the incident that occurred in the parking lot of Tam’s Burgers, in Compton, California. The Plaintiffs allege Knight carelessly struck and killed Terry Carter with his pickup truck. Knight is pleading not guilty to the criminal charges in connection with the incident.
Dr. Dre and Ice Cube were all mentioned in the lawsuit as well. The lawsuit alleges they were all working on the film together “Straight Outta Compton” which is supposed to be released in theaters in August. The film focuses on the struggles of the “Compton-based rap group N.W.A., founded by Dr. Dre and Ice Cube.
On February 2nd, Knight was charged in criminal court with murder and attempted murder, for running over 55-year-old Terry Carter. The lawsuit states Knight had issues about the film and how he was going to be portrayed, and he had been causing problems, so Cle (Bone) Sloan had asked him to leave the set. Allegedly Knight was trying to hit Sloan, after one of their arguments about the film.
The lawsuit also alleges that Knight was a dangerous individual with a criminal record, and that Dr.Dre, Ice Cube, and the film’s distributor were trying to keep him away from the movie set, but obviously not soon enough. Allegedly Knight was brought on to the set to discuss his financial participation and his depiction on the film. The three of them, Dr.Dre, Ice Cube, and Knight founded Death Row Records in the 1990s.
The attorney representing Dr.Dre, Howard King, commented on the lawsuit and called it “preposterous.” There have been no public comments from Ice Cube or Universal.
Since Knight was already convicted in the past for two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, if he is found guilty in his criminal case he may be sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.
Suge Knight Wrongful Death Lawsuit
In California, wrongful death actions can be filed by the following individuals:
1. Surviving spouses;
2. Domestic partners;
3. Children and grandchildren;
4. Person entitled to estate property through intestate succession; and
5. Certain classes of dependents. Cal. Civ. Proc. § 377.60.
California Statute of Limitations Wrongful Death
The statute of limitations for wrongful death actions in California is 2 years. If the death was the result of medical malpractice, 3 years after the date of the injury or 1 year after the injury is discovered, or through the use of reasonable diligence should have been discovered, the injury, whichever occurs first. However, if the decedent was injured in a car accident with a government employee or vehicle or at a government hospital/facility, you will have to file a government tort claim within 6 months. If you think your statute will expire soon, contact a Los Angeles wrongful death attorney immediately.
Wrongful, Tortious, Or Negligent Act
In order to recover for a wrongful death in California, the defendant must have committed a wrongful, tortious, or negligent act. The most common wrongful death cases seen in California occur as a result of vehicle collisions, given the sheer amount of cars we have on the road. In that situation, the family of the deceased person will have to prove that the defendant driver was negligent and was a substantial cause of the death before they can recover damages.
Wrongful Death Recovery California
Wrongful death plaintiffs in California can recover economic and non-economic damages.
California Wrongful Death Economic Damages include:
1. Financial support the deceased would have contributed to the family during either the life expectance of the deceased or the life expectancy of the family member filing the lawsuit, whichever is shorter;
2. The loss of gifts or benefits the family member would have expected to receive from the deceased person;
3. Funeral and burial expenses;
4. The reasonable value of household services the deceased would have provided.
California Wrongful Death Non-economic Damages include:
1. The value of the loss of the deceased’s love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society, moral, and support;
2. The loss of enjoyment of sexual relations (spouses & partners);
3. The loss of training and guidance (children, grandchildren, & other heirs).