Gault v. Norwood: 2nd largest medical malpractice verdict in history. We obtained this record setting verdict just weeks after being awarded the $100 million verdict. This case was against the world famous cardiothoracic heart surgeon, William Norwood, M.D., who performed an unauthorized surgical procedure on Stephen Gault, rendering him severely brain damaged and in permanent need of lifelong care. A beautiful little boy was born healthy, with a small narrowing in the aorta, the blood vessel that leaves the baby’s heart and goes to the body. This condition is known as a “Coarctation of the Aorta” and it requires a simple.
Since 1958, The Beasley Firm has fought for injured persons and their families, obtaining over $2 billion in awards for our clients through hundreds of multi-million dollar settlements and jury verdicts. Our attorneys help bereaved families in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware seek the justice, emotional closure, and financial compensation that a wrongful death claim provides.
Our Philadelphia wrongful death attorneys have a history of developing thorough and compelling cases, resulting in some of the largest wrongful death awards that the state (and the nation) have seen. We have consistently obtained verdicts and settlements in the seven and eight figure ranges that have both compensated our clients and punished the wrongdoers.
If you have lost a loved one in an accident or as the result of someone else's negligence, contact our wrongful death lawyers in Philadelphia for a confidential, no-obligation consultation.
Give our firm a call at (215) 866-2424 to discuss your legal options.
When a person dies as the result of someone else's negligence, the law allows the deceased person's close family members to bring a claim for wrongful death, requesting compensation and justice for the loss of their loved one. The beneficiaries of the decedent's will, through the administrator of the decedent's estate, can also bring a "survival" claim for the decedent's pain and suffering before they died. Wrongful death and survival lawsuits are proven in court the same way as typical personal injury, medical malpractice, and product liability claims are proven: by showing that the defendant's negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct caused or contributed to the person's death. Thus, the "proof" of a wrongful death case is the same as the proof of any other negligence lawsuit.
What does liability for wrongful death mean?
Liability in a wrongful death case refers to who can be held legally responsible for your loved one’s death. If someone is liable or legally responsible for their death, you might be entitled to compensation. In other words, you might be able to sue a person that is liable for your family member’s untimely death.
The best way to obtain compensation after a loved one’s death is by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. However, it may be difficult to secure a recovery without the help of an experienced attorney. It is important to discuss your case with an attorney as early as possible as you only have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit.
What is the cap for a wrongful death lawsuit in Pennsylvania?
A cap is a limitation that the state puts on the amount of damages that an injured party can receive. Many states have caps on the damages that a person can receive in a wrongful death lawsuit. However, Pennsylvania generally does not limit the compensation that a person can receive in these cases.
The Commonwealth has carved out certain exceptions including allowing caps on medical malpractice cases and lawsuits against a government entity or local agency. It is important to discuss your case with an attorney to determine whether there is a cap or limit to the amount of damages you will receive.
Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania significantly limits the individuals who may bring a wrongful death lawsuit in the Commonwealth. A wrongful death action may only be brought by the personal representative of the estate. If the decedent has died without a will or named representative, the court may assign one. Generally, the court will approve family members or other qualified persons.
The personal representative of the estate brings the wrongful death claim on behalf of the decedent’s eligible beneficiaries. In Pennsylvania, the only eligible beneficiaries are the surviving spouse, the decedent’s children, and the parents of the deceased.
There are, however, two key differences between wrongful death / survival lawsuits and regular personal injury lawsuits. The first is the type of damages available: in a personal injury lawsuit, the injured person is compensated for their lost wages, for the medical costs they have incurred, and for their pain and suffering.
In contrast, in a wrongful death / survival claim, the decedent's estate is compensated for the value of the decedent's claim as if they had lived to recover economic damages and pain and suffering, and the decedent's close family members are compensated for their loss in household income, familial support, and companionship. How these are calculated and argued will depend on the skill and experience of your lawyer's team. The second big difference is the size of the damages and the resources that insurance companies, big corporations, and their lawyers put into fighting wrongful death claims.
In a wrongful death case, the damages can easily extend into the millions of dollars-many of our Philadelphia wrongful death attorneys have secured settlements or jury verdicts for tens of millions, even hundreds of millions of dollars-and so insurance companies adopt a scorched-earth approach, hiring more and better lawyers to defend these cases.
It is not uncommon for insurance companies to spend over a million dollars in attorney's fees and litigation costs to have the family's case dismissed, to try to convince the jury the accident wasn't their fault, or to persuade the jury to award less in compensation. What sets the Beasley Firm apart from other firms is our ability to match these resources with our own resources, ingenuity, and experience. Regardless of what insurance companies are spending on your claim in order to defeat it, if you deserve compensation, our attorneys will fight to make that as clear to your jury. We will invest the necessary resources to fully investigate your wrongful death claim, gather a team of experts, and provide a compelling and powerful case on your behalf.
Most of our wrongful death cases require an investment of hundred thousand dollars or more; we routinely invest $500,000 or more of our own money - not counting our attorneys' and paralegals' time-into hiring the most qualified outside doctors, engineers, forensic examiners, accountants, and economists to serve as expert witnesses to present the very best and most persuasive case we can on behalf of our clients.
At The Beasley Firm, we leave no stone unturned in order to fight for your well-being. When we step into a courtroom, our opponents know they'll be facing a well-prepared and well-tried case-it's often why our clients receive sizable settlement offers before the trial process begins. It's been our approach since 1958, and it's why we have continued to be the leading wrongful death lawyers in the state when it comes to court awards-both in magnitude and amount.
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.