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Family files wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of Florida man

In Florida, a 51-year-old man was taken into custody after his car swerved into a guardrail in May 2012. Reportedly, the man was visibly impaired at the time. As the alleged drunk driver was lodged in Hillsborough County jail, he suffered a stroke. Unfortunately, the man's medical condition was undiagnosed, eventually leading to his death.

Consequently, the Tampa Bay man's heirs filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, the Florida Highway Patrol and the Florida Department of Safety and Motor Vehicles, in connection with the incident. The lawsuit alleged that the emergency responders and the Florida Highway Patrol's conduct caused the man's delayed medical treatment for his stroke, resulting in brain injury and other complications.

According to sources, the symptoms of the stroke were untreated and undiagnosed for 36 hours. The victim was found lying in his own urine before his condition was finally discovered. After the man was taken to Tampa General Hospital, he was diagnosed with an ischemic stroke. Unfortunately, the victim had suffered brain injury, became comatose and died after three months.

Recent reports confirm that the defendants named in the lawsuit have agreed to settle the case. No exact dollar amount has been disclosed yet. The payout may also need the state legislators' approval in accordance with Florida law. Armor Correctional, another defendant, paid $800,000 in a separate agreement.

When it comes to wrongful death cases, laws vary from state to state. Nevertheless, a wrongful death lawsuit may allow the victim's family to obtain reasonable compensation for losing a loved one.

Although death is certain, an individual's death due to negligence or other people's carelessness is more challenging to a family. Whether the cause of death is a fatal car accident, workplace fatality or another incident, the surviving family may get some measure of relief through a wrongful death lawsuit.

Source: Tampa Bay Times "County and state tentatively settle wrongful death claims for Tampa stroke victim," Peter Jamison, Sept. 13, 2013

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