Wrongful Death Claims in Vermont

The lawyers at Sylvester & Brow in Burlington, Vermont have extensive experience handling wrongful death claims. The firm has successfully resolved wrongful death claims against the operators and owners of tractor-trailer trucks and automobiles, automobile manufacturers, manufacturers of dangerous products, healthcare providers and other negligent individuals and corporations.

The firm has also handled cases involving deaths caused by carbon monoxide poisoning, drowning, airline crashes, collection agency credit practices, electrocution, badly designed railroad crossings, and pedestrian-motor vehicle accidents. The firm has achieved noteworthy success with wrongful death claims, including the largest verdict and largest settlement in the history of Vermont.

A sampling of the wrongful death cases handled by the lawyers at Sylvester & Brow are:

  • A $5,400,000 recovery for the negligence of a motor vehicle operator.
  • A $4,850,000 recovery for the negligence of a motor vehicle operator.
  • A $2,800,000 recovery due to carbon monoxide poisoning caused by the defective condition and negligence in the manufacture, sale, installation, and/or service of a gas fired boiler.
  • A $2,500,000 recovery in a recreational boating accident.
  • A $2,500,000 Federal Court jury verdict against a trucking company.
  • A $1,800,000 recovery against a manufacturer of a vehicle, the supplier of automobile parts, and the owner/operator of a motor vehicle.
  • A $1,100,000 recovery for a 68 year old female pedestrian.
  • A $1,000,000 recovery for malpractice involving delay in diagnosing and treating cancer.

Also, recovery against a collection agent resulting in the wrongful death of a debtor due to a fatal heart attack caused by the agencies harassing and intimidating tactics; the wrongful deaths of four passengers in a commercial airplane that crashed due to the negligence of the pilot; the wrongful death of a motorcyclist caused by the negligence of a railroad/town and city in designing, warning and operating a railroad crossing; the wrongful death of a passenger in a motor vehicle, wrongful death in an electrocution case, and wrongful death caused by the failure of Emergency Room Physicians and Surgeons to timely diagnose and treat a life-threatening condition

If your family member has died due to what you believe was wrongful or negligent conduct, please contact us or call collect at 802-864-5723 for a free initial consultation and case evaluation with one of our lawyers. We provide our services on a Contingency Fee basis. This means there are no legal fees unless we recover damages.

Vermont Law Pertaining To Wrongful Death

Wrongful death actions are lawsuits brought on behalf of a deceased person’s next of kin for deaths caused by the negligent, reckless or intentional conduct of another. Vermont’s wrongful death statute provides that the personal representative of the estate may be awarded for the benefit of the spouse and other specified relatives damages for “pecuniary injuries.” 14 V.S.A. § 1492(b). Under Vermont law, “pecuniary injuries” are not limited to purely economic losses and may include recovery for loss of companionship, as well as a compensation for lost intellectual, moral and physical training, or the loss of care, nurture and protection. Clymer v. Webster, 156 Vt. 614, 629-630 (1991); Mobbs v. Central Vermont Ry., 150 Vt. 311, 316 (1988). In the case where an individual who died is a minor child special rules apply. In a wrongful death suit, the representative of the deceased may also bring a claim on behalf of the estate of the deceased for conscious pain and suffering sustained as a result of the defendant’s conduct. 14 V.S.A. §§ 1451, 1453 and 1492.

Cases for wrongful death in Vermont must be brought within two years from the discovery of the death, subject to specific exceptions. 14 V.S.A. § 1492. Generally, if a plaintiff fails to file a lawsuit within the time period, then the right to bring a claim is barred and no recovery may be had. Therefore, speaking with a Vermont wrongful death attorney as soon as possible is recommended if you believe you may have a right to compensation.

If you believe a loved one has suffered death as a result of the negligence of another, the wrongful death attorneys at Sylvester & Brow can assist you. Feel free to contact us via our inquiry form or call collect at 802-864-5723 for a free initial consultation and case evaluation with one or our lawyers.



Alan Sylvester Best Lawyer of the Year 2012


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