Family Seeks Millions in Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The family of a nineteen year old who drowned at a lake house in Dickson County is suing a number of people for his wrongful death, including a prominent Nashville couple that owned the home. William Caver, 19, was a Montgomery Bell Academy graduate who was found in the lake behind a home on Timber Ridge Road last August the morning after a party was held at the lake house where alcohol was involved. The death was ruled an accidental drowning, and the victim’s father has filed a wrongful death lawsuit on his child’s behalf.
According to the lawsuit, the couple who owned the home, Forrest and Stephanie Conner, were negligent in allowing alcohol consumption by minors at their home. The house where the party was held is registered to a limited liability company that is owned by Mr. Conner. The lawsuit is claiming $15,000,000 in damages and names a number of other individuals in the case.
The lawsuit also claims that everyone in attendance at the party was required to sign a liability waiver releasing the owners of the home from any fault arising from any personal injury, disability, death, property damage, or other losses related to any activity on the property. The family of the deceased has asked the judge in the wrongful death case to rule the waiver unenforceable as it contemplates waiver for potentially illegal activities on the premises. The waiver also contained a list of house rules that included items like no illegal drug consumption, but conspicuously absent was any rule against underage drinking.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
In Tennessee, only certain individuals are allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit after a fatal accident. First, if there is a surviving spouse, they have priority to file a claim. If there is no surviving spouse, then a claim may be filed by the following people, in order:
- Any surviving children
- A personal representative of the estate
- Surviving parents if the victim was a dependent at the time of death
- The administrator of the estate if the victim was a dependent at the time of death
No one else is allowed to file a wrongful death claim for a deceased accident victim on their behalf. To look at it another way, but for the fatal nature of the accident the victim would have been able to file a personal injury claim for damages. But because the victim is deceased, only immediate family or those managing the victim’s estate can file the lawsuit for the victim instead.
Talk to Mitch Grissim & Associates
No one ever expects to lose a loved one in an accident, but filing a wrongful death lawsuit can help cover the financial burden that often follows this type of event. If you would like to learn more about filing a wrongful death lawsuit, contact the Nashville wrongful death attorneys at the office of Mitch Grissim & Associates today to schedule a free case evaluation.