A Mississippi shooting range is reportedly going to be appealing a wrongful death judgment issued by the Mississippi Supreme Court which found that a trial court’s dismissal of the suit was improper. That suit was brought by the family of a Navy SEAL who died in a training exercise back in 2008. The fatality occurred when a bullet fired during training hit him in the chest.
Sources said the young man had been wearing a bulletproof vest at the time of the incident, but the bullet passed through a gap in the vest after penetrating a wall behind which the soldier was crouching. The fatal incident occurred at a facility with a long history of training military and police officers.
Sources didn’t detail the rationale behind the lower court’s decision to dismiss the lawsuit, nor the reasons why the Mississippi Supreme Court overturned that ruling. Lawsuits can be dismissed for a variety of reasons, including technical errors, legal reasons, misbehavior of the plaintiff or his or her attorney, or even by the plaintiffs own choice. The latter obviously isn’t the issue in this case. Depending on the reason for dismissal of a case, it may still be possible to re-file the claim. It all depends on the specific reasons.
Wrongful death litigation is not necessarily easy to bring for family members, for obvious reasons, even when it is the best means of obtaining compensation. It is important for families bringing wrongful death claims to work with an experienced attorney, who understands both the process of the wrongful death litigation and the relevant law, as well as how to zealously advocate for a client.
Source: PilotOnline.com, “SEAL’s wrongful death case appeal filed in Mississippi,” June 9, 2014.