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Sister of murder victim sues private corrections operator

Recently, the sister of a 21-year-old Garfield woman who was allegedly murdered by an escapee from a halfway house filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the private company that operates the halfway house. The lawsuit alleges that the company acted with negligence in allowing the paroled inmate to escape and commit the alleged crime that resulted in the woman's wrongful death.

Prosecutors say the inmate had been brought to a local hospital after suffering what appeared to be a seizure at the halfway house. They say he escaped hospital care several hours later, and murdered the woman.

The lawsuit alleges that the company was negligent in failing to adequately supervise the inmate and to detect that he had faked his seizure. The lawsuit also alleges that the inmate remained in the custody of the halfway house, even though he escaped from the hospital. The inmate had been in the halfway house for six months after being released from prison and his victim was reportedly a friend who had rejected his romantic advances.

One of the hardest things to witness is the death of a friend, family member, or loved one due to the negligence of another person. The emotional trauma of witnessing or experiencing such an event can be devastating. In addition, there are the financial consequences of this event, such as medical expenses and lost relationships.

Fortunately, the family of a person killed in a wrongful death action has the right to be compensated for their loss. Generally, under New Jersey law, a family member cannot recover for emotional pain and suffering in a personal injury case. However, there is a notable exception to this rule; namely, they may recover for pain and suffering caused by a wrongful death action.

Family members may also recover compensation for medical expenses caused by the accident and for any injuries that they may have suffered themselves. The family members of a person killed in a wrongful death situation are entitled to just and fair compensation.

Source: The Star-Ledger, "Sister of Woman Allegedly Killed by Newark halfway house parolee files wrongful death suit," Alexi Friedman, Aug. 24, 2012

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Gary D. Ginsberg is a Certified Civil Trial Lawyer who has been recognized as an expert in litigating cases in the courts of New Jersey.

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