Florida junior college athlete Expavious Tyrell Taylor was shot and killed two weeks after his 20th birthday while attending an annual ZombiCon event in Ft. Myers this past October. According to a Wink News report, five others were injured in addition to the young man’s tragic death when shots were fired. ZombiCon, which boasted an attendance of 20,000 is a zombie-themed public event where patrons dress up in costumes and sport fake injuries – including bloody ones – as well as phony weapons. Taylor’s grandmother filed a wrongful death suit against the event’s organizers as well as the security company in charge of the public’s safety and plans to sue the City of Ft. Myers and Ft. Myers police department in separate lawsuits.

Wrongful Death Claims

Under Florida law, the survivors of the victim have the right to bring a wrongful death claim against the individual(s) and/or the private or public agency responsible for the tragic event. Some examples of public agencies include a state or private school, hospital, nursing home; city, county or state; city or state correctional facility; and law enforcement agency, among others. A wrongful death occurs when it is caused by the “wrongful act, negligence, default or breach of contract of another” according to Florida statute.

State law requires the wrongful death action be brought on behalf of the deceased’s estate, by its personal representative. A personal representative is generally named in a will or estate plan, however, if neither exist then one will be appointed by the court.

While the suit itself is filed by a personal representative, it is filed on behalf of the deceased’s estate and any survivors permitted under law, which must be listed in the claim. Florida law allows the following survivors of a wrongful death victim to seek damages: the deceased’s spouse, children and parents; or any blood relative or adopted sibling who is dependent on the deceased in whole or in part for support services.

Statutes of limitations, or time frames in which a suit must be filed or be barred forever, govern wrongful death suits. Each state has its own statute of limitations. In Florida, generally a wrongful death claim must be filed within four years from the date of death. There are very few exceptions to this rule. For this reason, it is important to contact a seasoned Orlando wrongful death attorney immediately to preserve the rights of a deceased’s estate and survivors if a wrongful death has occurred.

Legal Help in Florida

If someone you know has died as the result of another’s negligence, contact a Brandon wrongful death attorney today to learn about how to preserve the claim of surviving family members and the deceased’s estate. The tragedy of a wrongful death case and the emotional and financial difficulties that accompany such a catastrophic event should not be further complicated by navigating the legal process alone. The legal professionals at Reed & Reed will represent you with sensitivity and legal expertise, seeking your interest first and foremost during this process. From our office in Brandon, we help clients in Tampa, New Tampa, Plant City, East Hillsborough County and throughout the state of Florida. Contact Reed & Reed for a free consultation.