Lynchburg Wrongful Death Lawsuit


In a three-day-long jury trial, the plaintiffs in the Lynchburg wrongful death lawsuit have settled for $250,000, in place of their earlier $12.5 million claim in the Lynchburg Circuit Court. The plaintiffs settled the case after the state agreed to pay $250,000 as compensation, apologized for the tragedy that claimed the life of plaintiffs’ brother Clarence Beard Jr., and agreeing to clear the name of the deceased that he was not a drug addict, nor was he drunk that fateful day.

About the Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The wrongful death suit, filed against seven Lynchburg police officers, claimed gross negligence on the part of the defendants that caused the death of Clarence Beard Jr. in 2006. The plaintiff, Mary Peterson, who is Beard’s sister, sought $12.5 million compensation in the lawsuit filed in 2008 for negligence, assault and battery, false arrest and imprisonment. The lawsuit alleged that, on September 24, 2006, the defendant police officers, Michael B. Eagle and Michael A. Huntsman, entered the deceased’s apartment, looking for a woman without search warrants. The suit asserted that, initially, the deceased allowed them to search his room, but later, when he exercised his right to ask the officers to produce the warrant, he was ruthlessly rounded up, hog-tied, and falsely arrested, which contributed to his heart attack and death. The suit also named backup officers, Jerry R. Mayberry, Chad T. Davis, Timothy C. Clements, C. Scott Bradner, and Thomas B. Lawton.

The lawsuit accused the defendant officers of ignoring requests from bystanders that the deceased, who was brought outside the apartment and laid face down on the ground, seemed to have stopped breathing. The lawsuit claimed that the heart attack from which the deceased suffered was the result of the fight that ensued between him and the police officers when he tried to resist his unlawful arrest.
The defendants were not charged criminally with any unlawful activity. The City of Lynchburg will bear the financial liability from its coffers, as it is self-insured against claims less than $500,000.

Wrongful Death Statistics

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, more than 90 percent of medical malpractice cases in the recent years involved a permanent disability or wrongful death due to medication errors. Statistics reveal that prescription drug deaths are the second leading cause of wrongful deaths in the country. Highway accidents also contribute significantly to wrongful death statistics.

Other Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Michael Jackson’s father has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Dr. Conrad Murray and a Las Vegas pharmacy, Applied Pharmacy Services, which sold Murray an extensive quantity of a powerful anesthetic, propofol, which is blamed for the singer’s death in June 2009. The suit, seeking unspecified damages against the defendant doctor, alleges that he was negligent in administering the drug to the deceased and failed to inform the paramedics about the drug dosage.

In another wrongful death case filed against a surgeon in California, the plaintiff accuses the defendant of negligence during the surgical procedure conducted on his deceased wife, who was suffering from pancreatic cancer.  The lawsuit blames the death of the plaintiff’s wife on surgical complications. The plaintiff claims unspecified damages against the defendant for causing death of his wife and thus causing him great pain and harm. Recently, a jury declared the defendant guilty of negligence and wrongful death.

In 2010, mother of a college student Mary Bernstein, who died in a car crash on Interstate 280, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against PG&E, whose truck was involved in the fatal collision. In the lawsuit, the plaintiff accused the defendant company of failing to monitor health and driving records of its workers, contending that the driver blamed for the fatal accident of her daughter had a history of hypoglycemic attacks, ignoring which, the defendant allowed him to drive on busy routes, thus risking numerous lives. The plaintiff has reached a $5 million settlement with the defendant company after the latter agreed to record the resolution as a judgment to make it easier for future accident victims to negotiate a settlement.

In November 2010, a wrongful death and defective product lawsuit was filed against Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., blaming death of five children and one adult on Interstate 10 on a defective tire manufactured by the defendant company at its Tupelo plant. The lawsuit seeks monetary and punitive damages, besides burial and medical expenses. The suit is awaiting trial.

In another wrongful death case filed in 2009 by the family of a Syracuse man, who died as a result of mesothelioma due to exposure to asbestos, against the company in which he was working for 30 years. The lawsuit blamed the company for the death, alleging injury due to exposure to asbestos throughout their employment. Last year, a New York jury awarded $1 million as compensation to the plaintiffs for the loss of their loved one.

In 2003, widow of late actor John Ritter filed a wrongful death lawsuit against two physicians who attended to the doctor before his death. The lawsuit accuses the defendant doctors of failing to detect aortic dissection in the deceased, which caused his death. The suit alleges that had the defendants detected the patient’s condition, his life could have been saved.