Wrongful death claims in Ontario are more common than you may think. Any time you hear about a fatal car accident, a wrongful death claim is highly likely to follow. Even global celebrities may find themselves involved in posthumous legal battles when their cause of death is questioned.
The following are real examples of wrongful death cases that occurred in the Ontario area. Please remember that these are examples of wrongful death cases, not guarantees of settlements for similar cases.
5 Wrongful Death Claims in Ontario
1 synthroid dosage. On July 31, 2006, Michelle Vokes, nine months pregnant, was driving in Owen Sound when a speeding driver struck her car. The driver, Randall Palmer, survived, but Vokes and her unborn child did not. Vokes’ husband, Bradley, sued Palmer for the loss of his wife, unborn child and loss of support for himself and their two older children, ages 5 and 3.
The Vokes family received a settlement of $117,000 for the 5-year-old, $135,000 for the 3-year-old and $90,000 for Bradley Vokes for their losses. The settlement was to cover the loss of care, guidance and companionship. At the time, the case settled, the Vokes children had received one of the largest wrongful death settlements paid to a child for the loss of a parent in Ontario history.
2. On October 19, 2007, Ashley Smith, a female inmate being held at the Grand Valley Institution, was found dead in her cell after committing suicide. Her family filed a wrongful death claim against the Correctional Service of Canada, seeking $11 million for her death. The family settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.
According to reports, guards watched as Smith strangled herself with cloth in her jail cell and were told not to intervene unless she stopped breathing. Smith had a history of mental illness and often threatened to harm herself and others while in prison. Her family’s lawyer claims that Smith believed the guards would intervene, and she was not trying to kill herself, but rather was calling out for attention.
3. On October 18, 2012, Nick Baker of Ottawa was killed in a car crash. More than 18 months later, Baker’s parents received a letter from an auto manufacturer General Motors, informing Baker that his 2006 Saturn Ion was subject to recall. Baker was driving the Ion at the time of his crash, and investigators claim his death was caused by his airbag not deploying.
Baker’s parents are now suing the General Motors Company for $500 million in punitive damages. The lawsuit is just one of many individual and class-action claims being filed against GM due to neglect in alerting consumers of defective vehicle parts and offering timely recalls and repairs. According to reports, the Bakers are one of four families in Canada that suffered the loss of a loved one due to defective GM vehicles.
4. In 2010, former air force colonel Russell Williams was accused of murdering two Ontario women among several other charges of sexual assault. The family of one of the victims, Jessica Lloyd, filed a $4 million wrongful death lawsuit against Williams in 2012. Her case was settled out of court in 2014 for an undisclosed amount. The family of the other victim, Cpl. Marie-France Comeau did not file a wrongful death claim.
5. On May 23, 2012, 30-year-old Michael Brewer was found beaten to death at the St. Joseph West 5th campus on the Mountain. Brewer was a schizophrenic and psychiatric patient at the facility when he was allegedly attacked and beaten by a fellow patient, Tyler Valcheff.
Brewer’s parents filed a wrongful death claim against St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, the center’s president, Dr. David Higgins, the head of forensic services, Gary Chaimowitz and Valcheff. Their lawsuit claims more than $260,000 in damages and alleges that their son’s death was caused by St. Joseph’s negligence in providing sufficient security.
If You Believe You Have Grounds to File a Wrongful Death Claim, Talk to a Lawyer
The examples shared in this article are just some of the many instances when a wrongful death lawsuit may be applicable. If you have lost a loved one in an accident and believe another’s negligence was to blame for the accident and resulting fatal injuries, you may have a claim.
Contact Preszler Law today at 1-800-JUSTICE® to schedule a free consultation at your convenience. Our wrongful death lawyers can help give your family peace of mind following a devastating loss by investigating your legal options and seeking a fair settlement for your damages.