It seems as if every year there are several high-profile tragedies involving guns – these might be carefully-planned mass shootings or accidents that can affect any family. When a gun goes off on accident, the results can be beyond devastating. One New Jersey family discovered that gun-related accidents can even occur when there are no adults involved. These types of situations may result in a wrongful death suit where the victim’s family receives financial compensation.
Local residents may have been shocked upon hearing of the incident: a boy only six years old was fatally shot by his neighbor, aged four. Apparently the children had been playing a pretend shooting game with one another in 2013 when one of the boys went and got his father’s rifle, which had been left unlocked in a bedroom. Tragically, the four-year-old shot his six-year-old friend, causing severe injuries which took the boy’s life.
The parents of the younger boy were held liable in the other child’s death; the father of the four-year-old served three years in prison on a child endangerment charge. Now, media reports indicate that the parents of the boy who pulled the trigger must pay around $600,000 as part of the wrongful death lawsuit settlement. This amount is in addition to the amount of punitive damages in the settlement. The actual terms of the agreement are confidential, although reports mention a judge ordered them to pay almost $600,000 last May.
Wrongful death suits involving children can be particularly complex. As loved ones struggle to come to grips with such an immense loss, it can be difficult to imagine beginning a wrongful death suit. Still, a successful lawsuit or settlement can ensure negligent parties are held accountable and that loss is addressed comprehensively after a fatal accident.
Source: NBC 10, “New Jersey Family of Boy Who Was Shot by 4-Year-Old Neighbor Settles Lawsuit,” Nov. 12, 2016