Man’s Family Sues Henderson Police for Wrongful Death

- David Boehrer

The widow and son of a man shot and killed by the Henderson Metropolitan Police in 2015 are suing the department for wrongful death. The complaint alleges that officers shot the man in front of his 11-year-old son and then joked around while the man bled to death.

The family’s story is that the man heard noises outside of his home and came to the door with a handgun. Little did the man know, the people at his door were police officers who had come to detain one of his sons. The family alleges that the police officers failed to identify themselves. As the man opened the door the family maintains that he kept his gun pointed at the floor, but the officers shot him as soon as they saw he had a gun. The family contends that the officers did not order the man to drop the gun before shooting.

After the man was shot, he bled for 15 minutes before receiving medical attention. All of this happened in front of the man’s 11-year-old son who stated that the officers told jokes rather than rendering aid.

What Is Wrongful Death in Nevada?

In Nevada, a “wrongful death” is caused by a person who intentionally, recklessly, or negligently causes the death of another person. Wrongful death in Nevada is a civil action, meaning that it is more similar to a personal injury claim than a criminal action. As such, the party bringing the wrongful death suit can seek monetary damages rather than jail time.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit in Nevada?

Because the victim is dead, another party must file the wrongful death lawsuit. Nevada allows the following parties to file a wrongful death claims and seek damages:

  • The deceased’s personal representative
  • The deceased’s surviving spouse, domestic partner, or children
  • The deceased’s parents (if the deceased has no surviving spouse or child)

What Kind of Damages Can Be Recovered in a Nevada Wrongful Death Suit?

A party can file a lawsuit seeking special damages, such as:

  • Funeral expenses
  • The deceased’s medical expenses associated with their cause of death
  • Damage to property resulting from the events causing the deceased’s death
  • The wages and benefits lost as a result of the deceased’s death
  • Loss of the deceased’s companionship
  • Loss of benefits to the deceased’s heirs

The party bringing the lawsuit can also seek punitive damages which are intended to penalize the person or entity causing the wrongful death if they acted recklessly or negligently.

When Can a Party Bring a Wrongful Death Suit in Nevada?

Nevada law establishes a “statute of limitations” (or time limit) for filing a wrongful death suit. An appropriate party must bring a wrongful death suit within two years or the court may dismiss the party’s case. Therefore, if someone has died, it is very important for the deceased’s family to look for an attorney experienced in wrong death cases as soon as possible. If they don’t, they may miss deadlines and their opportunity to file a claim.

The David Boehrer Law Firm Can Help you with Nevada Wrongful Death Cases

Wrongful death cases can be emotional and complicated. Allow our experienced attorneys at the David Boehrer Law Firm help you navigate your wrongful death case during this emotional time. We invite you to call us at (702) 750-0750 to arrange a consultation today.