UPDATE: Comedian’s Family Settles Wrongful Death Case

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Comedian James McNair was killed in a car crash with a Wal-Mart truck on his way home from Delaware with superstar Tracy Morgan. Now his family has settled their Wrongful Death lawsuit with the company.

Last summer, comedians Tracy Morgan, Ardia Fuqua, and James McNair were traveling from Delaware back to their New York homes. Their trip was cut short when a Wal-Mart truck driver slammed into their limo after he may have fallen asleep at the wheel. Morgan and three others were injured, but James McNair, unfortunately, did not survive the accident.

What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

That left the McNair family with a wrongful death lawsuit against Wal-Mart and the negligent driver. In a wrongful death action the family of the person who died (the “decedent”) may be allowed to recover:

  • Medical Expenses Spent Before The Victim Died;
  • Pain And Suffering Endured By The Victim Between The Injury And His Or Her Death;
  • Funeral, And Burial Expenses;
  • Loss Of Companionship By The Victim’s Spouse Or Family;
  • Lost Wages And Loss Of Financial Support Including Child And Spousal Support From Family Court Orders;
  • Loss Of Services Like Cooking, Cleaning, Handyman Work, And Landscaping; And
  • “Hedonistic Damages” That Try To Account For The Loss Of Enjoyment Of Life.

Why Settle?

Putting a value on a lot of these damages can be challenging, and expensive. It can require hiring experts and proving abstract ideas like earning capacity. And it can be risky to put intangible damages like pain and suffering in the hands of a jury.

Maybe that is why the McNair family decided to settle their wrongful death lawsuit against Wal-Mart. The terms of the settlement are private, but it seems the family is happy. According to their attorney, Daryl Zaslow:

[Wal-Mart ] “more than stepped up to the plate and took care of this family. . . . Ultimately they did the right thing by the McNairs.”

They are far from alone. A full 95 percent of lawsuits settle prior to trial. That’s why good trial attorneys always have one eye on a successful settlement. If you are unfortunate enough to have to file a wrongful death lawsuit, your lawyer should take the time to walk you through what a good settlement might look like and what your needs are.

David Christensen and his team at Christensen Law in Southfield, Michigan have helped hundreds of families reach satisfactory settlements in their wrongful death lawsuits. They understand the challenges in taking these cases to trial and will help you make an informed decision on whether to settle. If you or someone you know has lost someone in an auto accidentcontact Christensen Law today for a free consultation.