Georgia residents may have heard that, on June 8, the family of a 35-year-old attorney filed a wrongful death lawsuit after the attorney reportedly fell off an escalator at the Judiciary Square Metro Station in Washington, D.C. The lawsuit claimed that he fell approximately eight feet and suffered fatal injuries.
The incident reportedly occurred on Oct. 19, 2013. The attorney reportedly lost his balance while on the escalator onto the Metro platform. However, it appeared that he then fell backwards off the platform, resulting in serious injuries. The injuries were severe enough that he succumbed. His body reportedly remained there for four days.
The lawsuit alleged that employees who worked for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority did not provide any help, even though the incident was recorded on surveillance cameras. The lawsuit accused the WMATA of being negligent in recognizing, investigating and responding to the incident. As such, the deceased attorney's parents were seeking $25 million in damages plus court costs and interest.
Property owners are responsible for ensuring that their property is safe for the public, for mitigating any potential risks or, if the risks cannot be mitigated, for clearly labeling any potential hazards. If a person suffers an injury and dies from a property hazard, surviving family members may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim against the owner of the property based on premises liability. In such a lawsuit, the family members may choose to seek compensation for a variety of damages, including funeral and burial expenses.
Source: USA Today, "Lawsuit filed for $25M after attorney fell at D.C. metro, not found for 4 days", Lindsay Deutsch, June 9, 2015