Movies and television show dramatic murder trials that determine who is guilty and who is not, but only criminal law gets close to that type of theatrical quality. Even most criminal cases are decided through plea agreements rather than jury trials. Civil law deals with who is responsible to victims and their families for the consequences of wrongful deaths or injuries.
This sort of liability may be difficult to show in cases of deaths or injuries caused by environments or circumstances rather than willful or negligent behaviors. Investigations may turn up some surprising liabilities held by parties that did not seem initially involved.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Detroit Pistons have settled a lawsuit brought by the mother of a player for the Grand Rapids Drive. That's a team in the NBA's development league, which is known as the G League. The 26-year-old player died shortly after collapsing during a game in March of last year. The suit alleged that medical support staff present at the game did not take the player's condition seriously in time to save his life.
The player died two days after he collapsed in a Michigan hospital. Two other defendants involved with the management of the event may still face suits. Civil lawsuits may be brought against other entities, including DeltaPlex Arena where the game was played and the group that owns the Drive.
Wrongful death lawsuits can never replace a lost life, but they can hold negligent parties responsible and provide financial help to the families of victims. An attorney can provide support and guidance.