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Is it too late to file a wrongful death suit?

Pasadena, CA |

My father was arrested in Aug 2006. We were never given any information to where he was until my mother went to the men's jail a week later. There, they told her he was at USC county hospital in ICU and that she'd better go see him immediately. Once she got there, the doctors told her he had been there, in a coma, for a week. We asked why we weren't notified right away. They said they asked the officers for a next of kin and were repeatedly told he had none, even though the FBI were involved and had been to our home the same day of his arrest. When we asked what happend, a nurse told us some details but made it clear to us that they "took pictures" when he was brought in. Unfortunately, he never woke up and we let him go a month later. Do we still have a case? Civil case?

Attorney Answers 8

  1. Tough question. These are hard cases. There also might be an issue with the statute of limitations running. contact a local personal injury lawyer and get advice.

  2. I'm sorry to hear about what you and your family have been through. As for whether it is too late to file a wrongful death lawsuit, in California, the statute of limitations (SOL), on wrongful death cases, is two (2) years. And then, on top of that, any claims against governmental entities must be made within six (6) months.

  3. I agree, I think you should contact a personal injury attorney. You need someone to look into all of the circumstances regarding your father's death.

  4. Sadly, it sure sounds like you are well beyond the applicable statute of limitations. Your best option at this point is call a lawyer who is familiar with excess force cases and see if there are other facts that may allow you to file a claim. Sorry for your loss.

  5. It appears the time limits have run. However, there are situations if you were a minor at the time that may allow extensions, but they will unlikely present here. You should consult with an attorney were more details of your specific situation can be explored.

  6. There must be some reason that nobody did anything about this for the last 6 1/2 years!? If so, explore it further. If not, it is my opinion that you would be wasting your time. Sorry.

  7. It appears that you are past the statute of limitations, but state laws vary as to SOL exceptions, so best bet is to call one of the lawyers in your state who answered above to discuss any possible exceptions. Good luck.

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  8. You had 6 months from the date of his death to file a claim with the county in which he passed. The statute of limitations for wrongful death is 2 years. It appears you are too late by at least 4-6 years.

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