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Bobbi Kristina Brown's family wins wrongful death claim

Bobby Kristina Brown, the daughter of singers Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, died after she was found unresponsive in her Atlanta home last year. On Nov. 17, Brown's family members were awarded $36 million after filing a wrongful death lawsuit against Brown's former boyfriend, Nick Gordon. The monetary award was calculated after the Fulton County court found Gordon 'legally responsible" for Brown's death in September.

According to reports, Gordon has ignored the lawsuit that was filed by Brown's family. The Fulton County Superior Court judge ruled against Gordon primarily because he failed to appear in court twice. The judge said that the plaintiff's allegations against Gordon were admitted through omission.

Family members on both the Houston and Brown sides of the family testified against Gordon in court. According to an autopsy report that was released in March, Brown had several drugs in her system including anxiety medication, morphine, marijuana, alcohol and a cocaine-related substance called benzoylecgonine. The wrongful death lawsuit accused Gordon of giving Brown a 'toxic cocktail" and unlawfully transferring some of Brown's money into his own bank account. No criminal charges have been filed yet in the case, but Brown's death is still being investigated.

A family can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the person who they believe is responsible for their loved one's death even if the person has not been criminally charged. Because a ruling in a civil claim does not require as much proof as a criminal conviction, a defendant may be found responsible for a death in civil court before the criminal investigation is concluded.

Source: USA Today, "Judge orders Nick Gordon to pay $36 million to Bobbi Kristina's family," Ryan Dennis, Nov. 18, 2016

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