Rosie Harris’ family is still grieving her 2017 death at the hands of her partner. And to add insult to injury, the property owned by Harris at the beginning of the relationship will now partially benefit the woman’s murderer. The property in question was Harris’ home when the two met in 2015. They later refinanced the home together, so Harris’ confessed killer will receive one-half of the profits from the sale of the home. Harris’ family attempted to block the sale of the home and the distribution of the money from the sale only to find out that they had waited too long and the statute of limitations governing wrongful death claims had expired.
The family says that watching their family member’s killer profit from the sale of the home has made them feel victimized all over again. The victim’s sister, Suzi Palmer, noted that she was left feeling heartbroken, angry, and sad. Unfortunately, similar situations play out all the time. If you are considering a wrongful death claim, don’t delay in contacting our Salt Lake City wrongful death attorney right away.
In Utah, family members of the deceased have just two years from the date of death of a loved one to enter a wrongful death claim on the record. When the wrongful death claim is against a governmental entity, then the plaintiffs have just one year to file. In either case, when the statute of limitations expires, then the court will no longer hear the claim.
Wrongful death claims provide for the collection of damages by the victim’s family. Damages may include funeral or burial costs, medical expenses related to the final injury or illness, pain and suffering experienced by family members, loss of companionship and care, and punitive damages meant to punish the person who caused the death.
Utah’s Never Again Foundation, an advocacy group, wants to see the statute of limitations change. Through its attorney, Brandon Merrill, the group said that “We don’t give them the time to number one: grieve and number two: go through a lengthy trial.” He went on to add that the legislature in Utah needs to foster this change, allowing families to deal with any pending criminal trials first and then “start the clock” on wrongful death actions in civil court.
According to Merrill, this allows “the time for victims to process, time to heal” before making a decision on whether to pursue a wrongful death claim.
Although a wrongful death suit does nothing to replace the empty hole left when a loved one is taken too soon, it does help families get back on financial track in the loved one’s absence. If you have experienced the loss of a loved one due to someone else’s actions or negligence, then our Salt Lake City wrongful death attorneys at Jardine Law Offices want to help. We have both the resources and the expertise to ensure that you get the justice your loved one deserves. Call us at 801-350-3506 to schedule a no-cost consultation with our compassionate legal team.