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Chicago Offers Settlement in Wrongful Death of Teen

Coming on the heels of two high profile settlements from the City of Chicago, the mayor’s administration has reached another potential settlement in the 2013 death of a 17-year-old. According to an article from the Chicago Tribune, this settlement proposal was reached less than two weeks before the scheduled trial on the incident, and still needs to be approved by the Chicago City Council.

The Situation

The incident that resulted in the fatal shooting began on January 7, 2013 around 1:30 p.m. when the victim and two friends beat and robbed a man inside the man’s car after negotiating whether or not they would purchase cell phone service from the man. After this, the victim left by himself in the man’s car. After observing the man’s car roll through a stop sign at Essex Avenue and 75th Street, police ran the vehicle’s license plates. The plates originally came back clean, presumably because the incident had not yet been reported. However, shortly thereafter, a call came over the police radio indicating that a carjacking had taken place and the vehicle that officers had seen roll through the stop sign had been involved. The police officers that had observed the vehicle rolling through the stop sign caught up with the vehicle and as soon as police officers stepped out of their vehicle, which was unmarked according to records, the 17-year-old left the stolen vehicle and police officers began pursuing him.

According to statements from the police officers, the 17-year-old had pointed an object that looked like a gun at one of the officers. However, that object later turned out to be a black cell phone box. As the 17-year-old fled from police officers on foot, one of the officers assumed a shooting stance on the sidewalk near where other people were also walking. After striking the 17-year-old in his side, a shot that pierced the victim’s heart and lodged in his spine, the 17-year-old rounded a corner and collapsed on the sidewalk. As officers caught up with the 17-year-old, he reportedly told officers, “I give up. I’m shot.” One of the officers cuffed the young man and placed a foot on his back while waiting for paramedics to arrive.

Initially, the officer who fired the fatal shot had remained on active duty until recently. The article indicates that the officer who fired the fatal shot has been suspended and is performing non-operational duties within the Chicago Police Department. The family’s attorney was unable to provide specific details as to the settlement itself because it has yet to be approved by the city, and a spokesperson for the city’s law department did not comment on the case.

What is wrongful death?

Basically, wrongful death is when a person dies at the hands of another because of negligent or intentionally careless acts. While there are many legal details specific to each case that may qualify as a wrongful death action, some of the most common examples of wrongful death include: fatal car accidents caused by drunk drivers that end in the death of an innocent victim; death at the hands of a dangerous or defective product; medical malpractice that results in the failure to properly diagnose a potentially serious condition which results in death; and death as the result of nursing home negligence. As you can see, wrongful death often fits under the umbrella of another cause of action. Therefore, if you believe you have lost a loved one in a manner that could have been prevented, it is important that you speak to an attorney that has experience handling a variety of wrongful death lawsuits.

Where can you find legal assistance?

If you have experienced the loss of a loved one, it is undoubtedly a difficult and stressful time. The attorneys at Levin & Perconti have experience handling wrongful death actions that stem from a number of different causes, and understand how devastating this type of loss can be. Contact Levin & Perconti today to schedule a consultation about the circumstances surrounding your claim. Levin & Perconti’s attorneys can explain the various legal aspects of your case, and may be able to discuss the potential effects of moving forward with your case, especially if a wrongful death is involved. The sooner you are able to secure legal assistance, the sooner evidence and other important information about your case can be preserved.