Family Settles Wrongful Death Claim for $5.9 Million

The family of Eric Garner, who was killed by police in Staten Island in July of 2014, has reached a wrongful death settlement with the city of New York, worth an estimated $5.9 million.


The settlement, struck just days before the anniversary of Garner’s death, was a focal point of a case that has engulfed a city and its people since July 17, 2014. It was on this day that NYPDP officers approached an unarmed Garner, who was standing on a sidewalk, regarding the alleged illegal sale of cigarettes.


The incident, which was recorded by a passerby, escalated to a physical altercation, with police restraining Garner with an illegal chokehold that the police department clearly prohibits. The video also depicted Garner gasping for air, telling law enforcement officers 11 times, “I can’t breathe.” Medical examiners have cited the restraint as the cause of Garner’s death.


The settlement came on the heels of many months of halting negotiations, and has been one of the largest civil rights settlements. Although medical examiners ruled the death a homicide, city officials have not disclosed if the police officers involved will face disciplinary action.


Additional investigations into the quality of emergency treatment received by Garner at the scene and en route to the hospital have also been launched.


However, Garner’s family’s legal representatives have hailed the settlement as “justice”, even if there are still many unknowns regarding his wrongful death.


If You Have a Wrongful Death Claim


If someone has died as a direct result of another party’s negligence, whether it be a person or product, then there may be grounds for a wrongful death claim. Each state, including New Mexico and Texas, has outlined what are known as ‘wrongful death statutes’. These types of guidelines define how a negligent party may be responsible for the damages incurred by a family after losing a loved one.


Typically, wrongful death claims’ beneficiaries can be anyone who the deceased left behind or designated, but the most common claims are from spouses or children.


Any person whose negligence led to the death of another may be held liable in a wrongful death claim. Perhaps the incident occurred in the form of an automobile wreck, or perhaps the negligence was on the part of a hospital or medical practitioner. Regardless of the situation, such incidents have devastating consequences for those loved ones left behind.


Enlisting the Support of a Wrongful Death Attorney


The first step in any wrongful death claim is to seek the assistance of an experienced attorney. Due to the traumatic nature of these situations, and with the grieving process still fresh, it is important to enlist the help of an attorney who has a clear understanding and experience in handling wrongful death claims, and who is compassionate and sensitive to your needs.


In Texas and New Mexico, the personal injury attorneys at Gilstrap & Associates, P.C. provides clients with the means and expertise to reach successful settlements in wrongful death claims. Our legal team has tackled a wide variety of wrongful death claims, ranging from driver negligence, to negligence on the part of large companies, such as health care providers. Additionally, our law firm has the resources available to build a thorough case around your claim, allowing us to pursue it to a fair and just conclusion.


If you have lost someone as a result of someone else’s negligence, know that you do not need to be alone at this difficult time. Our attorneys can assist with pursuing your wrongful death claim, all while working to protect your family’s interests.


We can help you with your wrongful death claim. To discuss the process with our experienced attorneys, we invite you to call us at (915) 581-0020. There is no charge for your initial consultation.