A wrongful death claim has been filed against the producer and the stunt coordinator of the movie “The Expendables 2” after a stuntman was killed during the filming of the movie. The stuntman’s family is alleging that the producer and the stunt coordinator negligently failed to place the stuntman a safe distance from an explosion.
Wrongful death claims can arise from car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bus accidents, truck accidents, drunk driving accidents, accidents involving pedestrians, accidents involving cell phones and texting, construction accidents, work-related accidents, slip and falls, inadequate premises security, medical malpractice, defective products, food poisoning, fire/explosion accidents, etc.
The Statute of Limitations, or deadline, to file a wrongful death claim in Massachusetts is “three (3) years from the date of death, or within three (3) years from the date when the deceased’s personal representative (executor or administrator) knew, or in the exercise of reasonable diligence, should have known of the factual basis for a cause of action.” M.G.L. c. 229 § 2.
In order to bring a wrongful death claim in Massachusetts, the estate of the decedent must appoint a personal representative. After the Probate Court has appointed the personal representative of the decedent’s estate, that person can then file a lawsuit against the at-fault party or parties.
A wrongful death claim in Massachusetts is founded on the common law principles of negligence, which are: 1) duty, 2) breach of duty, 3) causation, and 4) damages. The personal representative of the decedent’s estate must be able to prove that the at-fault party owed a duty to the decedent, breached that duty, and as a result of that breach, caused the decedent’s wrongful death.
Under the Massachusetts Wrongful Death Statute, damages may be awarded for the “loss of reasonable expected income, services, protection, care, assistance, society, companionship, comfort, guidance, counsel, and advice of the decedent.” M.G.L. c. 229 § 2. Funeral and burial expenses can also be awarded. In addition, punitive damages may also be awarded, if the decedent’s estate can prove that the wrongful death was caused by gross negligence (i.e. malicious, willful, wanton, or reckless conduct).
Karsner & Meehan, P.C. is a well-established law firm. We have handled wrongful death cases for over 30 years. If someone you know has died as a result of someone else’s negligence in Bristol County, Plymouth County, or elsewhere in Massachusetts, you should contact the Massachusetts wrongful death injury attorneys at Karsner & Meehan, P.C. to schedule your free consultation. We are ready to help you in difficult times.