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Judge rules wrongful death suit against university without merit

Recently, a judge in California ruled that a lawsuit against the University of Southern California brought by the families of two Chinese graduate students killed near the campus lacked merit. This forces the attorney for the two families to file an amended lawsuit within a time frame of three weeks.

The wrongful death suit stems out of an event that occurred on April 11, when both students were killed in a carjacking incident. Both of the men responsible were arrested and are being held without bail. They could face the death penalty if convicted of the crime.

Wrongful death is defined as the death of a person due to the misconduct or negligence of another party. In wrongful death cases, a personal representative of the deceased victim's estate must bring the lawsuit on behalf of a family.

In a wrongful death lawsuit, the court can award pecuniary damages to the victims' families. Injuries that are considered pecuniary include the loss suffered by the families, such as the loss of support, funeral and medical costs, the loss of inheritance, etc. To calculate the loss, the court will consider the age, the earning potential of the deceased persons, health, life expectancy and other factors.

Anyone with a family member or loved one killed due to the negligence of another is entitled to file a wrongful death suit and obtain a judgment for damages. Anyone who loses someone they love to the negligence and/or recklessness of another person, entity or company is entitled to fight for justice.

Source:, "Wrongful Death Lawsuit against USC Hits Hurdle," Paresh Dave, Nov. 13, 2012

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