When a death occurs in jail, the families are left wondering where to turn for answers. Our attorneys are experts in getting answers and holding those responsible accountable for the violation of an inmate's constitutional rights. The law firm of Lauer and Currie, P.A. specializes in federal wrongful death cases. In these cases, unconstitutional medical neglect or deliberate indifference to the inmates' serious medical needs caused the inmate's death. Jail and prison death cases are not easy. That is why our Florida jail wrongful death lawyers act quickly to gather the necessary evidence, locate and interview all potential inmate witnesses and work with medical and corrections experts to build the strongest case possible.
Very few Florida wrongful death attorneys specialize in civil rights litigation on behalf of the families of deceased inmates. At Lauer and Currie, P.A. this is our focus. We have years of experience navigating this complex field of law. We have become experts at gathering facts for trial and then litigating the appeal which inevitably follows a significant jury verdict. All of this work is done in-house by our team of experienced federal wrongful death attorneys. Because we are very selective with the cases we take, we can provide a high level of attention to our clients' cases.
The typical federal wrongful death case involving an inmate death can take over two years to resolve, and our firm often invests over $65,000.00 or our own money in costs to bring the case to trial. The only way we can justify the costs and time commitment is because the attorneys in our firm have put in the thousands of hours necessary to become an expert in this field of law. There is no prison, sheriff or private jail medical provider that has ever outspent us or outworked us. Our Florida jail wrongful death law firm has the experience, work ethic and financial wherewithal to go toe-to-toe with any defendant.
Greg Lauer worked with a reporter to uncover the truth about several mentally ill inmates who died in jail. Greg Lauer was interviewed about two of the firm’s wrongful death cases. Both of the deceased inmates were mentally ill and starved to death in solitary confinement. The law firm of Lauer and Currie obtained settlements for both of the families of these men. After this story aired and the cases settled the jails private medical provider, Armor Correctional Healthcare, was kicked-out of the County jail and replaced by another company that promised to do a better job.
Mr. Lauer worked with a reporter in Jacksonville to expose a horrible death in a North Florida jail. This video discusses the case and shows the last minutes of Gregory Futch’s life. The Florida jail wrongful death lawyers at Lauer and Currie represented Mr. Futch’s mother who was also featured in this video. This wrongful death case settled shortly after this story aired and the lawsuit was filed.
The Personal Representative of the deceased inmate’s estate is the only person who can file the case. Usually, a family member of the inmate will be appointed as the personal representative of his or her estate. The personal representative will file the lawsuit on behalf of the heirs of the deceased. Typically, the personal representative will be the spouse, a parent or an adult child. Florida law prohibits anyone with a felony conviction from serving as a personal representative. Our Law Firm prefers the personal representative to be a responsible family member living near the area where the death occurred. In addition to their probate estate responsibilities, the personal representative will be required to sit with the lawyers during the entire jury trial which can last from one to three weeks. If necessary, we can request that the Court appoint a local attorney to serve as the personal representative.
The short answer is – Nothing. Attorney’s fees and the costs are paid out of the money we recover for your family. We work on a contingency basis and we use the Florida Supreme Court approved contingency fee contract. This means that our law firm will front all the costs no matter the amount, and then when the claim is successful, our costs and fees are taken from the settlement or verdict. In a wrongful death case, we must get Court approval of our law firm’s fees and costs. If we are not successful then our law firm absorbs the costs we spent and your family owes nothing.
This is never an easy question to answer, but because our attorneys have focused on medical care in jails for the past fifteen years, we are able to quickly examine the medical evidence, consult with experts and give our clients a range of possible outcomes. For example, our last six wrongful death cases have settled for between $950,000.00 and $3,000,000.00. Every case is different, but we always work diligently to ensure that our clients are treated fairly by the system.
Florida law sets forth all potential beneficiaries of a recovery for a wrongful death . In a nutshell, the Estate’s personal representative brings the lawsuit on behalf of any family member who is legally entitled to compensation. These family members are called the “survivors.” Survivors are the deceased person’s spouse, children, and parents, and any blood relative or adoptive sibling who is partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services. The amount that each survivor receives is usually decided by the jury. In cases where there is a settlement, the survivors can agree on the distribution, but the Court will decide when the survivors cannot agree. Depending on the facts of the case court approval maybe required before funds can be distributed.
No, the wrongful death case we represent your family in is a civil matter. It is separate and different from a criminal prosecution brought by the Government against the party(ies) responsible for the death of your loved one.