An Eastern Oregon family is suing their landlord after an electrical fire resulted in the death of their 8-year-old son.
In July 2016 the five-person family were asleep when the smoke alarm went off. The father got out of bed and saw a large fire in the living room. The parents managed to get their three children out of the home, but everyone suffered burns, smoke inhalation, or both. The family was transported to the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City.
Tragically, the eight-year-old boy succumbed to his injuries later that day.
Family Sues Landlord for Wrongful Death
Arson investigators of the Oregon State Police determined that the fire, which destroyed the home, was caused by electrical failure. The family is now accusing the property, and its owners, of having an unsafe or improperly maintained electrical system which resulted in the death of their child.
What Is Considered to Be a “Wrongful Death” in Oregon
A “wrongful death” in our state of Oregon is one that is the result of the omission or wrongful act of another. The death may be intentional or it may be unintentional, resulting from the negligence or recklessness of another party. In Oregon, there are several protections in place for the tentants of a rental, including under the Oregon Residential Landlord Tenant Act, which requires that, among other things, the electrical systemt of the rental be in safe working condition.
What Damages Can Be Recovered
Damages recovered in wrongful death claims are intended to compensate surviving family members and the estate for any losses related to the death of the deceased individual. Some of the losses which may be recovered include:
- Medical/hospital expenses related to the deceased individual’s illness or injury
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of wages and benefits (including reasonable future earnings)
- Pain and suffering endured prior to death
- Loss of companionship, care, guidance and comfort suffered by surviving family members
How Much Time Do You Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
In Oregon, a wrongful death claim must be filed within three years of the deceased individual’s final injury. It is important to note that this date is different from the person’s date of death, and that this can have an impact on the amount of time you have to file a claim. This timeline may be extended under certain circumstances, such as not reasonably identifying the wrong that led to the death, or when a child is killed.
Speak to an Experienced Wrongful Death Lawyer at Dwyer Williams Dretke Attorneys
Dwyer Williams Dretke Attorneys, PC is a personal injury law practice in Bend committed to representing victims who have suffered substantial personal injuries who has passed away due to the negligence or recklessness of another.
We invite you to call us today to discuss your claim for free at (541) 617-0555.