Wrongful death lawsuits are always difficult and harrowing for families who lost a loved one. Often these cases are brought over car crashes or industrial accidents. However, in Georgia, the mother of Dylan Walsh, a three-year-old boy whose body was found in a lake two years ago, has filed a wrongful death suit against her ex-husband.
A report in The Telegraph carried claims by Jenean Winston that her ex-husband Mark Walsh was responsible for the death of their son at Lake Tobesofkee.
Toddler Dylan was found drowned close to the Pig and Fish restaurant in August of 2015.
The tot was in his father’s custody on the night he died. His mother believes the tragedy could have been avoided.
The wrongful death suit accuses him of being in dereliction of his duties as a father. The tragedy occurred on his first weekend of custody of the child since his divorce from the child’s mother.
The civil wrongful death suit against Mark Walsh claims he was drunk at the restaurant earlier on the night his son went missing, and took him out to look at boats on the dock.
The lawsuit claims Walsh and friends racked up a $125 bill on alcohol. He went down to the docks with his son who then went missing.
The toddler’s body was recovered 11 hours later beneath a dock slip.
Local law enforcement officers said they believed an abduction may have taken place, based on the father’s statements.
Sheriff David Davis and District Attorney David Cook said a terrible tragedy took place. However, charges were not brought against the father.
“If there had been any type of criminal negligence or any type of evidence of a crime that any type of charges could’ve been brought, the sheriff’s office and the district attorney’s office will certainly move forward with those charges no matter where the parent may have gone to after the incident.”
Police and prosecutors said the facts show otherwise. Jenean Winston is seeking compensation from Walsh for the death of their son. She said she hasn’t seen or heard from Walsh despite efforts to contact him through her attorney.
In Georgia, a wrongful death is defined as the death of one person caused by the “negligent, reckless, intentional, or criminal” acts of another person.
An entity such as a business can also be liable in a wrongful death lawsuit. For example, if the balcony of a hotel is defective and fails causing a vacationer to fall to his or her death, that establishment may be liable.
When a driver or a passenger is killed by the actions or inactions of a tractor-trailer or a delivery truck driver, the trucking company or an entity like a distributor or a retailer can be held liable in a wrongful death suit.
If you have lost a loved one due to another’s negligence please contact the Law Office of Michael West for a consultation.