Wrongful death cases can be incredibly complex. While the majority of these cases play out privately, there are times when the public is well aware of the outcome of a wrongful death case. In recent months, a wrongful death lawsuit filed by members of Prince’s family has been dismissed. The Philadelphia wrongful death attorneys at Soloff & Zervanos, P.C. want to discuss why a wrongful death case may be dismissed and whether or not settlements are reached in the aftermath of a dismissal.
Most people know that Prince was a cultural icon in the United States. They also know that the singer died of an accidental fentanyl overdose in 2016. Of course, this is before the entire country was fully aware of the major opioid problem facing citizens. Nobody was criminally charged in Prince’s death, but it is said that counterfeit pills were the source of the overdose, those the source of the pills remains unknown.
Prince’s heirs filed a wrongful death lawsuit against multiple defendants two years later. The heirs alleged that the defendants had a duty and opportunity to diagnose and treat Prince’s addiction. They say these defendants could have prevented the singer’s death.
However, early last summer, the plaintiffs in the case began dismissing the defendants, and claims against Prince’s doctor were permanently dismissed in November of 2019, along with claims against the doctor’s former employer. Claims against Walgreens, where Prince filled his prescriptions, as well as the hospital where Prince was treated for an overdose a week before he died, were also permanently dismissed.
Most legal analysts believe that the dismissals were settlements with the defendants.
That is important to note because not all wrongful death lawsuits result in a case going to trial, and a dismissal does not mean that the plaintiffs received no compensation for their loss. In a wrongful death claim, lawyers for the plaintiff are constantly in negotiations with the defendant’s legal team. The goal is to secure a settlement that is fair for a plaintiff. Had the defendant’s in the case mentioned above not offered a fair settlement, they very well may have gone to trial and not been dismissed.
It is up to a skilled attorney to properly guide their clients towards the best course of action – a settlement out-of-court, or a trial.
If you have lost a loved one to the carelessness or negligence of another person, company, or entity, you may need to seek legal assistance. At Soloff & Zervanos, P.C., our team will investigate your case and work to secure any compensation you are entitled to, which could include: