O.J. Simpson, Zoloft, Ford, and Takata were all sued for wrongful death. Wrongful death cases arise when one party’s negligence or intentional act takes the life of another person. Families who have lost loved ones to the reckless or negligent acts of other parties may take legal action to recover for their losses by filing a wrongful death suit.

Common Types of Wrongful Death Cases

There are numerous incidents that may lead to the wrongful death of people and prompt their family members to take legal action. Some of the most common situations involved in wrongful death claims include:

  • Intentional harm
  • Defective or dangerous products
  • Dangerous drugs
  • Auto, plane, or train accidents
  • Medical malpractice

Nevada state law allows victims’ heirs to file wrongful death actions in cases when a person’s death is caused by the negligence or wrongful acts of another.

Claims for Intentional Harm

When assaults or other physical attacks cause victims to die, surviving family members may file a wrongful death claim for intentional harm. In one of the most highly publicized wrongful death cases, the family of Nicole Brown Simpson was awarded $33.5 million in an intentional harm claim against her ex-husband and former professional football player, O.J. Simpson after her murder in 1994. The civil court found Mr. Simpson liable for Ms. Brown Simpson’s death, despite his receiving an acquittal in the criminal trial.

Cases Against Product Manufacturers

Unsafe or defective products can cause serious injuries and death and product manufacturers may be held responsible. For example, families of people killed when the gas tanks on their Ford Pintos ruptured in even minor rear-end accidents, as well as those who died due to the propulsion of metal fragments throughout their vehicles from Takata airbags, sought financial compensation for their losses.

Claims for Dangerous Drugs

For any number of reasons, over the counter or prescription medications can have unintended effects that may result in the wrongful deaths of users. The family of a woman who killed her husband and herself while taking the depression medication Zoloft sued the drug’s manufacturer, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. The family claimed that, despite taking the drug as directed, the medication caused the woman to go insane, which ultimately resulted in her and her husband’s deaths.