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Family tries to recover 20-year judgment on wrongful death suit

Louisiana residents may find that on courtroom dramas like Law and Order, legal conflicts are completely resolved at the end of the one-hour episode. In real life, the wheels of justice don't often move so quickly. Families seeking resolution to wrongful death suits often wait for many years to recover from a defendant.

One such case is currently being played out. Twenty years after the death of their daughter, the parents of a woman who was murdered filed suit against her ex-husband who they believe caused her death. The victim's ex-husband was criminally convicted of the murder in 2006. In addition, there was a $4 million civil judgment that was rendered after a civil trial. The family filed suit this past week to keep the judgment alive. The original award has now ballooned to over $13 million with the added interest. Lawyers for the estate of the slain woman believe that key evidence was presented in the initial wrongful death suit that led to the ex-husband's eventual conviction. The estate is hoping to collect from several Swiss bank accounts that are believed to hold enough to satisfy the judgment.

In Louisiana, certain family members are able to file wrongful death suits. If the deceased was married, their surviving spouse may pursue legal action, as can the deceased's children. If there is no spouse or children, parents can pursue a wrongful death suit. Whether a family is trying to recover millions of dollars or even just the several thousand dollars needed to settle the debts of the deceased, the need for justice is the same.

An attorney may be able to help family members recover needed compensation. An attorney can assess their client's case and determine their client's various options for legal action.

Source:, "Millionaire convicted of murder is sued again to keep $13.5M unpaid judgment alive," Martha Neil, Jan. 29, 2014.

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