No surprise here. Fresh of the involuntary manslaughter conviction of 20 year-old Michelle Carter, the family of her then boyfriend Conrad Roy III have filed a multi-million dollar wrongful death lawsuit against her. The texting suicide case got a ton of media attention over the summer and culminated in Carter's 15 month prison sentence. Conrad's mother, Lynn Roy's wrongful death lawsuit alleges many of the same things the criminal case sought to prove-- that but for the very encouraging text messages from Carter, Conrad never would have killed himself. Conrad Roy committed suicide when he let his truck fill with toxic gas. The main pieces of evidence against Carter were a series of text messages encouraging his contemplated suicide and even telling him to "get back in the truck" when he had a change of heart.
The Boston Globe reports on the purpose of the civil suit, "It is more to memorialize their son and set up a fund so that he can be remembered for years to come." In asking for $4.2 Million, the bulk of the large sum is attempting to take into account years of potential wages and the pain and suffering Carter's actions have caused the family. The real question is where would this money come from? Unfortunately, even if the family prevails in the wrongful death lawsuit, it would be very hard for a 20 year-old with very little work experience to ever satisfy a judgment like this. And that is a major issue with a lot of wrongful death cases that involve low income defendants and those killings that do not have at least some type of insurance coverage involved.
This is not the only high-profile wrongful death suicide case out there right now. We recently blogged about the suit filed against actor Jim Carrey following the suicide of his girlfriend Cathriona White. While this two cases differ vastly on a lot of respects, the common thread is looking at the roles Carter and Carrey played in the deaths.This is a small but important area of wrongful death law and successfully making a convincing connection between the defendant's conduct and the suicide is a complicated but not impossible one.
Are you dealing with a wrongful death of a loved on by suicide? At Walch Law, we are here to help. We have over 40 years of experience helping people in your very situation. We know that dealing with a lawsuit is not the first thing on your mind right now but there are important time requirements for filing your case. One free consultation with us is all we need to make sure that we maintain your legal rights-- get in touch with us today.