Our son was in love with a women who left her abuser after 9 years. They moved in together and the person broke into our son's home, beating him. Our son refused to press charges because "he was a high school friend". The person drove up and down the road the night our son shot himself and died.
The person was tormenting our son as soon as his girlfriend's restraining order ended. I believe our son simply was so kind and couldn't take it anymore and shot himself. I don't care if we see a dime from this but we want the person who did this pay and squirm. Can we file a lawsuit against this person? What can we do?
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ANSWER for "Our tormented son shot himself...":
Kathy (Ketchiakn, AK):
We're so sorry for your loss. Unfortunately, you will be hard-pressed to succeed in what would be called a "wrongful death" lawsuit against the abuser. To succeed, you would need credible evidence the abuser's actions directly and proximately caused your son's death. That's going to be quite difficult.
Unless your son sought psychological or psychiatric counseling or treatment, and that counseling was based on your son's fear of the abuser, you will have a very difficult time coming up with enough evidence to have any chance of prevailing in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Speak with the woman with whom he lived. She may be able to shed some light on the reason your son committed suicide. Although her testimony may be credible, it probably won't be enough to be the basis of a successful wrongful death lawsuit.
Unfortunately, from the information you've presented there doesn't seem to be any evidence sufficient to proceed with a case against the abuser.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
The accuracy of information provided on this site is not guaranteed. It is generic information for informal purposes only. It is NOT formal legal advice. Your use of this site does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Before relying on any information found in this site you should consult with a licensed attorney in your state. If you are currently represented by an attorney, you should strictly abide by his/her counsel.