Mother of man shot by DEA files wrongful death suit
Recently, the mother of an 18-year-old who was shot and killed by DEA agents has filed a wrongful death suit against the agency, claiming that her son was accidentally shot while driving away from what he thought were a group of strangers attacking a friend. The wrongful death suit stems from an incident that occurred when DEA agents and police officers began accosting the teenager’s acquaintance in the alleged belief that he was about to commit a “smash and grab” on a nearby vehicle.
According to reports, the teenager apparently saw his friend get accosted and he attempted to drive away from the scene. The DEA claims that he attempted to run over a sheriff’s deputy, and that is why the DEA agent shot and killed him.
The man’s mother disputes that her son intended to harm anybody, and she contends that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The lawsuit charges that DEA officers lied about the incident, concealed information, and interfered with evidence in order to cover up an unjustified shooting.
Wrongful Death actions are those that are brought about due to the negligence of one person towards another. The negligent behavior may come from somebody entrusted with the care of another, such as a doctor, hospital, school, or other caregiver. Other times, negligent behavior may come from a stranger who was acting with reckless disregard for the safety of others. In order for a wrongful death action to be filed, there must be a personal representative appointed on behalf of the deceased, and there must be an action brought by the surviving family members of the victim.
This case is particularly tragic, because the man was killed by law enforcement officers because it appears that they believed, whether reasonably or not, that he was trying to kill them. Cases such as this one are extremely tragic due to their avoidable nature and the disproportionate consequences.
Senseless, avoidable situations like this one can arise at any time and at any place. Fortunately, anyone who has lost a loved one to a wrongful death may be entitled to receive monetary compensation from the defendant for his or her negligence or recklessness. This is the just and fair outcome for the families who have suffered through a loved one’s death.
Source: NBC Los Angeles, “DEA Wrongful death lawsuit moves forward,” Jason Kandel, December 29, 2012.