Georgia Wrongful Death Claim in 2010 Police Shooting

police.jpgOur Alpharetta wrongful death lawyers understand that preventable tragedies that take the lives of local residents occur far too often. Wrongful death issues exist in a wide range of circumstances. For example, a recent news story about the shooting death of a Savannah man at the hands of a police officer was particularly troubling.

Earlier this month, the family of Larry Wall Jr.- his father, Larry Wall Sr., and two children, Larry Thomas and Jaden Wall- filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Chatham County Superior Court. They claim that Mr. Wall was killed negligently with “deliberate indifference” to his safety by Officer Jason Carey. The suit also cites the city of Savannah for negligent hiring, supervision and retention of Officer Carey.

On March 15, 2010, Mr. Wall, age 30, contacted the police about an ex-girlfriend breaking some windows in his house. Officer Carey decided to run a check on Mr. Wall and found two outstanding warrants for non-violent, relatively minor offenses–one for nonpayment of child support and the other for failing to appear in court on a traffic citation. The lawsuit contends that Officer Carey tried to arrest Mr. Wall on these outstanding violations, and Mr. Wall fled into the house and locked the door. It claims that Officer Carey then kicked down the door and several gunshots were heard by neighbors, some of whom claim to have heard Mr. Wall pleading for his life. Mr. Wall was found dead on the floor in the hallway when additional officers arrived on the scene.

Officer Carey claimed he was defending himself, and suffered a non-serious knife wound. In July 2010 a grand jury found insufficient evidence to indict Officer Carey on a voluntary manslaughter charge. The grand jury decided there was enough evidence of self defense on Officer Carey’s part. Officer Carey remains a metro police officer on administrative duty, pending other “unrelated” issues, according to a police spokesperson. The city of Savannah has decided via a City Council vote to pay for his legal fees in this wrongful death case, despite the fact that many in the community find the circumstances of Mr. Wall’s death suspicious.

Georgia wrongful death law may allow the surviving members of the family to obtain compensation to help with the financial burden of the loss of a loved one, even if there is not enough evidence to support a criminal conviction. It is possible to get recovery for lost wages (including future wages), as the “full value of the life of the decedent.” It is also possible to recover for other expenses related to the wrongful death, such as medical bills, funeral costs and burial costs. In addition the decedent’s estate could receive damages for the decedent’s pain and suffering, in certain circumstances. If your family is facing the after effects of a tragic wrongful death, the Alpharetta wrongful death lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter are available to assist with legal avenues. Please call us at 404-814-8948, or fill out our confidential online case evaluation form ( for a free consultation.

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