A Sacramento court has just determined that a young boy's death was caused in part by the negligence of the National Park Service. The 9-year-old boy fell off a mountain trail in Lassen National Park and died after a retaining wall gave way.
The Tehama County boy and his family were visiting the park in the summer of 2009 when he and his sister sat to take photographs against the wall. The wall collapsed, with both children falling down the mountainside.
The family filed a wrongful death and personal injury lawsuit against the federal government in 2011, seeking an unspecified amount of monetary damages.
A wrongful death lawsuit is similar to a personal injury case, but is brought on behalf of the surviving family members of an individual killed as the result of another's wrongful or negligent conduct. Here, the wrongful death action was brought on behalf of the parents as the result of the boy's death, while the personal injury portion was filed on behalf of the daughter for her injuries. If you have questions about wrongful death or personal injury lawsuits, it's a good idea to speak to a knowledgeable San Francisco personal injury attorney.
The California wrongful death and negligence lawsuit alleged many startling facts, including that the park superintendent destroyed crucial evidence in the case and lied about an investigators attempt to interview her. The U.S. Magistrate noted, "Over the course of hearing several motions … it has become all too apparent that defendant has purposely destroyed material evidence in this case, specifically the retaining wall that caused [the boy's] death and injury to his sister."
"What is less clear, although highly suspicious, is whether defendant (destroyed) evidence, other than the wall."
The magistrate judge noted much information suggested the destruction of other evidence, and he expressed skepticism about the government's version of events and the credibility of some of its witnesses.
As a result, more hearings may be necessary in the case.
For more information or if you have questions about personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits, please contact the top San Francisco personal injury lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.