A wrongful death lawsuit was filed against Bruce Jenner on Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court. The family is alleging that Jenner’s Cadillac struck the back of Howe’s Lexus and “the impact propelled [Howe’s] vehicle into the opposite lanes of traffic.”
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.
Bruce Jenner Wrongful Death Lawsuit
If the facts as alleged in the above Complaint are true, it seems that Jenner was likely negligent when he rear ended the deceased Howe. However, it’s possible that Jenner may claim that the Hummer that hit Howe when she was pushed forward into opposite traffic was speeding and/or not paying attention to reduce his liability. If this case does not settle, the primary issues will be dividing fault between the two surviving drivers and the amount of damages. Howe’s economic damages will likely depend upon her wages, how much she was likely to make in her lifetime, and/or the reasonable value of her household services.
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).