crime scene tapeWhen someone’s negligent and/or reckless behavior causes or contributes to the death of another, the surviving family members are entitled to compensation for damages and suffering, explains Berkowitz and Hanna LLC.  The families of three slain victims in the May 2014 campus killings in Santa Barbara, California filed a wrongful death lawsuit, stating that their sons died because of preventable causes.

In May 2014, 22-year-old Elliott Rodger fatally stabbed three young men at the Capri Apartments. The families of the stabbing victims filed a wrongful death lawsuit in federal court against the county, the sheriff’s department and the apartment building—alleging that the defendants “failed to recognize signs that the attacker was a danger and take action.” The suit alleges that police had previously gone to Rodger’s apartment, in response to a disturbing video that he had posted online, but failed to investigate further, violating “the victims’ constitutional right to due process under the law.”  The suit mentions that Rodger, the son of a Hollywood director, had a history of mental health issues.

The complaint against the campus housing management cited the “red flags” that were allegedly ignored—including Rodger’s violent and erratic behavior and racist remarks. The plaintiffs further allege that the apartment management failed to investigate before assigning new roommates, nor did they warn them about his past behavior. Plaintiffs are seeking an unspecified amount in damages. The case is still pending.

Note: We did not represent any of the parties in this case.

Photo by Alan Cleaver via Flickr.com