Tag Archives: wrongful death

nh injury attorneys

NH Injury Attorneys: Celebrating a Safer, More Just America

People Who Make a Difference

The NH injury attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman Law are pleased to present the 2018 Justice Served Awards. These recognitions honor each of these nominees for their commitment to a safer, more just America.

Martina Vendenberg
Martina Vandenberg helps lawyers fight human trafficking
Holding Human Traffickers Accountable For Their Crimes

Martina E. Vandenberg is the founder and president of The Human Trafficking Legal Center (HT Legal), a pro bono legal organization that trains lawyers to provide legal support to human trafficking victims. Vandenberg and HT Legal hope to decrease human trafficking, estimated to affect more than 400,000 people in the United States, through three objectives:

  1. Hold the U.S. government accountable. The government rarely prosecutes human trafficking cases, and even when it does, victims often are denied financial restitution. HT Legal conducts research to expose failures in the system, reach out to prosecutors and drive legal reform.
  2. Deter human traffickers by forcing them to pay compensation to victims. Even if traffickers are not prosecuted for criminal charges, there is another option for victims: civil litigation. HT Legal trains attorneys willing to represent victims at no cost and seek damages from traffickers and third parties that benefit from trafficking.
  3. Challenge impunity through strategic litigation. HT Legal and its partners use strategic litigation as a catalyst for this change by forcing government action, driving legal reform, punishing perpetrators and compelling companies to end or prevent abuses in their business practices.

Through HT Legal, Vandenberg has trained more than 3,200 pro bono attorneys nationwide to handle human trafficking cases.

Mike Moore
Mike Moore held Big Tobacco accountable and is now taking on Big Pharma
Stemming the Tide of Opioid Abuse Through Litigation

Mike Moore is a lawyer and former attorney general for Mississippi. In 1994, Moore was the first state attorney general to sue the tobacco industry for lying about nicotine addiction and to hold companies accountable for the cost to the public of treating sick smokers. He persuaded lawyers and other AGs from across the country to take on Big Tobacco, resulting in a $246 billion settlement, still the largest in U.S. history.

Last year, Moore decided to turn his sights on Big Pharma and the opioid abuse epidemic. Deaths from prescription opioids – drugs like oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone – have quadrupled since 1999. Moore and his colleagues argue that the original marketing for OxyContin (by drugmaker Purdue) as non-addictive was based on questionable research. Since then, more than 400 cities, counties and Native American tribes have filed lawsuits against pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors and pharmacy chains. As with the settlement from Big Tobacco, Moore hopes to take any damages awarded and put it toward opioid abuse education and prevention.

Gretchen Carlson
Gretchen Carlson advocates against mandatory arbitration clauses in employment contracts
Protecting Employees Victimized by Sexual Assault

Forced arbitration clauses, which are now used by a wide range of companies, are now found in over 55 percent of employment contracts. Instead of going to court, employees must settle the dispute in secret arbitrations, usually by an arbitrator chosen by the defendant. In cases of sexual assault or harassment, these forced arbitration clauses can protect harassers from public consequences, opening the door to serial and long-term harassment.

Forced arbitration clauses not only protect abusers from a court of law, but also silence employees from speaking publicly once through arbitration. Gretchen Carlson, a former Fox News anchor, sued Fox News after she was fired for allegedly refusing sexual advances from Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes. Fox attempted to have her claims adjudicated in closed-door mandatory arbitration instead of court, effectively requiring that the details of her case be legally hidden from the public. Since settling her lawsuit with Fox News, Gretchen Carlson has been an advocate for legislation that prohibits forced arbitration clauses in employment and consumer contracts.

Sevonne Huang
Sevonne Huang is taking on Tesla after her husband died in a crash
Wife of Husband Killed in Tesla Wreck Hopes to Prevent More Deaths

Walter Huang died on March 23 after his Tesla Model X, which had engaged its Autopilot system, crashed head-on into a barrier on Highway 101 in California. Walter was a 38-year-old engineer, husband, and father of two young children. When Walter’s wife, Sevonne, saw the crash on the news, she knew right away it was her husband. Sevonne said she not only recognized his car, but knew that her husband was involved when she saw where the crash occurred. Walter had previously complained about the car moving toward that same barrier while on autopilot before the crash.

Despite settling a class-action lawsuit with several Model X and Model S customers, which alleged that the assisted-driving Autopilot system was “essentially unusable and demonstrably dangerous,” Tesla still blamed Walter Huang for the crash in a statement. Sevonne has hired a firm to sue Tesla in an effort to bring them to justice and prevent future crashes. “I just want this tragedy not to happen again to another family,” she said.

About the Justice Served Awards

The Justice Served Awards celebrate the stories of injured people, their families, and advocates who make a difference in protecting the health, safety, and legal rights of others by helping to:

  • Uncover negligence or other irresponsible behavior by organizations that put their interests ahead of the public interest;
  • Prompt government action by shedding new light on defective products, services or other practices;
  • Trigger manufacturing and quality assurance practices that lead to safer products and services; and
  • Increase public awareness that helps prevent additional injuries and protect an individual’s right to civil justice in a court of law.

Contact Experienced NH Injury Attorneys for a Free Consultation

Have you or a loved one been injured due to another person’s careless acts? If so, it is essential that you have the competent legal representation of NH injury attorneys from the onset of your case through litigation. Big insurance companies have lawyers looking out for their interests and you should too!

For a free consultation, contact the NH injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC. We may be reached at (603) 605-0547 or by email at info@MZLawNH.com. We may also be contacted by using the “contact us” or chat feature on our website.

Experienced.  Knowledgeable.  Personally Committed to Justice.

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wrongful death

NH Attorneys Discuss Wrongful Death Claims

If you have lost a loved one due to negligence, the New Hampshire wrongful death attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC can explain the legal options you may have to hold the responsible party or parties accountable.

Wrongful Death is a Civil Action

Under New Hampshire law, a wrongful death claim may be filed if one party’s negligent, reckless or intentional act caused the death of another person. Although the allegation in such an action is that the defendant’s conduct is the legal cause of the person’s death, a wrongful death action must be distinguished from a criminal charge, which is brought by the government. In some instances, the New Hampshire wrongful death attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC will explain that a criminal case will be filed separately from the civil action for wrongful death, but the two cases are independent of one another. Unlike a criminal conviction that may result in incarceration, fines and probation, the only remedy that is available under a wrongful death claim is monetary compensation.

Wrongful death cases may be the result of motor vehicle crashes, workplace injuries, medical malpractice, defective products, or other catastrophic injuries.

Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim

Each state has laws that control who has standing to file a wrongful death action. New Hampshire allows any person interested in the estate of a decedent to file such a claim. Typically, a wrongful death action is brought by the administrator of the estate or surviving family members of the decedent. See this article for more in-depth information on who can bring a wrongful death claim, and this list of frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Damages that May be Recovered

There are different categories of damages that are recoverable in a wrongful death claim. It may be helpful to consider compensation that the deceased could be entitled to had he or she lived, as distinguished from the economic losses suffered by those individuals the decedent left behind. Consequently, damages for the cost of medical treatment incurred by the decedent prior to death may be recovered, as well as any other expenses incurred as a result of the negligent act. This may include pain and suffering. Additionally, funeral and burial expenses are included as damages, as well as compensation for what the deceased would have earned in his or her lifetime. Family members are also entitled to compensation for the loss of care, comfort, and companionship of the decedent, and may also have a claim for pain and suffering damages. A spouse is entitled to recovery for loss of consortium.

The Measure of Damages

In determining the proper amount of damages, various factors are considered, including the age of the decedent. How many years, based on life expectancy data, were taken away? Years of work until the expected retirement age are established and compensation for salary, pension and benefits are calculated. Each survivor had a different relationship with the deceased, and compensation for that loss is based on individual factors. Additionally, the loss of the services the decedent provided, such as cooking, cleaning and household maintenance, is recoverable.

Limitation on Damages

Despite efforts to place limitations or caps on damages, the New Hampshire Supreme Court has generally found caps on non-economic damages in wrongful death cases to be unconstitutional. By statute, however, recovery for certain types of damages are available only to a spouse, child, parent or dependent relative.

Manchester-Wrongful-Death-Attorney-297x300Statute of Limitations

The general rule is that a wrongful death action must be initiated within three years of the date of death. An exception may be permitted if it is reasonable to conclude that the cause of death was not discoverable until a later time. If the defendant is a government entity, notice of the intent to file a wrongful death action may be required prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations and damages may be limited.

Other Considerations

New Hampshire is a modified comparative negligence state, which means that recovery is not barred if the decedent was, in some measure, responsible for his or her own death, as long as the defendant’s fault exceeds that of the deceased.

Contact NH Personal Injury Attorneys for Legal Advice

Wrongful death actions involve an extremely complex are of law. For compassionate and experienced counsel, call the New Hampshire wrongful death attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC, at (603) 624-7200.