We write a lot about more common wrongful death scenarios on our blogs but a recent case out of Joliet, Illinois serves as a reminder that every case is unique and not all deaths happen instantly.
The quick backstory on this personal injury turned wrongful death case: 87 year old Elaine Catuara was enjoying a day at Harrah's Casino in Illinois when she was hit with a malfunctioning door that threw her to the ground. As a result of the fall, she spend three weeks in the local hospital with hip and vertebrae fractures. She originally filed a personal injury suit to help cover hospital bills and other issues but passed away before that suit could be determined.
Patch.com reports on the case, "We assert that the injuries Elaine Catuara suffered at Harrah's Joliet Casino, it absolutely played a role in causing her death. We will be amending the lawsuit alleging a wrongful death count."
In cases that go from personal injury, where the money would go to the injured party to a wrongful death case-- who gets the money now? In California, the answer to this question is governed by California Code of Civil Procedures Section 377.62 and allows the following parties to file a wrongful death claim:
- Surviving Partner
- Children of the deceased
- Putative spouse, partner and children
Wrongful death lawsuits can be a confusing and complicated time for families trying to find answers in the wake of an unjustified death. For the family of Catuara, a successful case can help pay for her three weeks in the hospital, time in a nursing home and also compensate for their loss of her companionship, among other things. As a business very much open to the public, Harrah's casino has a legal duty to take reasonable steps to assure the safety of their premises. Included in this general duty would of course be to make sure their doors were working properly.
If you are dealing with the death of a loved and believe you might have a case, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us today to discuss the matter further. There are important deadlines for filing cases you do not want to miss. We are available 24/7 to answer your questions.