A judge has refused to grant the requests of the three defendants in the Washington DC wrongful death lawsuit filed by Robert E. Wone’s family. Wone, a 32-year-old DC lawyer, was stabbed to death while at the DuPont Circle house where Joseph Price, Victor Zaborsky, and Dylan Ward were living. All three men have been acquitted of criminal charges accusing them of covering up his murder. Wone’s widow Katherine, however, is still suing them for $20 million.
In the DC wrongful death complaint, which she filed in 2008, Katherine is accusing them of committing negligent, reckless, and intentional acts that led to her husband’s death, including a failure to act promptly to save his life. The three men have said that an unknown intruder entered their residence and killed Wone.
Attorneys for the three defendants had petitioned D.C. Superior Court Judge Brook Hedge to drop the civil suit on the grounds that the statute of limitations had passed. However, the judge did not agree with their claim. He noted that the most recent evidence was found in 2008 and was what prompted federal prosecutors to file the criminal charges against the men.
Hedge also turned down the men’s request for a gag order barring case participants from addressing the media. Their lawyers had expressed concern that the jury pool might be tainted by comments from the plaintiffs’ side.
In Washington DC, you have one year from the date of death to file your DC wrongful death action. However, exceptions can be granted. With all that needs to be done in order to prepare your case, it is important that you start exploring your legal options as soon as possible after your loved one’s passing.
Judge rejects petitions in Wone trial, The Washington Post, December 8, 2010
$20 Million Washington DC Wrongful Death Case is Next for Three Men Acquitted of Covering Up Dupont Circle Murder, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, July 19, 2010
Related Web Resource:
Wrongful Death, Nolo