Traveling overnight to a family reunion in Rhode Island last July, 93 year-old Romulo Valdez died of cardiac pulmonary arrest shortly before their five hour flight landed in Boston. Valdez alerted his daughter that he was in need of his oxygen tank and minutes later became unconscious. His daughter did not ask for assistance immediately and none was offered by the airline until fifteen minutes later when the flight attendants offered their on-board oxygen and inquiring if any medical professionals were on board. His family has now filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Virgin Airlines alleging negligence on the part of the airline.
The Washington Post reports on the details of the wrongful death lawsuit recently filed in California by his family, "The lawsuit claims the airline committed elder abuse by recklessly failing to provide for Valdez's basic needs, was negligent and caused emotional distress."
Do they have a winning case? More details need to be provided and arguments need to be made but here's a look at some questions you might have about this case:
- Is there any age limit for filing a California wrongful death lawsuit? No. A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed for a newborn baby (it must be born, not a fetus) or someone well over 100. While the age can play a role in determining the amount a family is financially compensated, there is no age limit in filing.
- Can airlines be held liable for the death of the passenger? To clarify something about this suit and many California wrongful death lawsuits in general-- the family is not saying that the airline killed Valdez but their actions or lack of actions contributed to his death. Put differently, had the airline acted quicker Valdez would still be alive.
- How much is a case like this worth? According to the Washington Post, the family is seeking damages in excess of $75,000 and probably attorney fees on top of that. The worth of a California wrongful death lawsuit depends on so many factors, including the older age of Valdez but it is intended to compensate for their loss, cover expenses related to the death and much more. Like many of the wrongful death cases that are filed against a company, the family is hoping that Virgin Airlines will also review and change the way the operate in situations like this.
Airplane injuries happen all the time-- from falling to a getting hit by luggage that should have been secured to a death like this. Whether or not you have a case against the airline, airport or someone/something else depends on a lot of factors. If you are dealing with an airplane injury or death and want to learn more about your legal options, give Walch law a call today to discuss your situation further. We are available 24/7 to help and your initial consultation with us is completely free and designed to inform you and answer your questions. We look forward to speaking with you.