Suicide can be a confusing and emotional topic for the surviving family and friends of the victim, especially if there were no warning signs. However, in some instances, loved ones may be aware that the negligence of others was the cause of the problem, and they may seek assistance from a wrongful death attorney.
The family of retired NFL linebacker Junior Seau filed two wrongful death suits against the NFL in California, were the death occurred. Just recently, these two lawsuits were consolidated with a class action lawsuit against the NFL in Pennsylvania. All of the lawsuits involve claims of negligence against the NFL regarding safety and hiding the risks of concussions and head injuries. The Seau family suits allege that the NFL knew that the head injuries he sustained during his 20-year football career caused injuries to his brain, depression and his death.
Generally, when someone has died to the negligence of another, the surviving family members may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit, through the personal representative of the estate, against the responsible party. Laws vary by state, and generally, survivors may be awarded monetary damages for personal injury, pain and suffering and medical expenses prior to death.
Additionally, the immediate family members, such as the deceased person's children, may be able to bring a survival action. This type of suit seeks damages for the conscious pain and suffering that the deceased person suffered.
In this instance, Seau's parents filed one suit, while his children filed a separate suit. These cases are being joined with the concussion class action, which represents nearly 4,000 former NFL players.
Source: articles.washingtonpost.com, "Junior Seau wrongful-death lawsuits merged with NFL concussion case in Pa.; hearing next week," April 2, 2013
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