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Mark Bello
Mark Bello
Attorney • (877) 377-7848

Teen Prank Primary Cause in Death of a Nursing Home Patient

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A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed in the death of a 101-year-old woman who died from injuries sustained when an 18-year-old barreled through the wall of the woman’s room at a nursing home. The impact threw the woman and her bed across the room; she died two days later. An autopsy determined that the driving stunt was the primary cause of death, but her age also was a factor.

The accident happened almost two years ago. The victim was sleeping when the driver decided to play a prank on two male friends sitting on the trunk of her vehicle as the three waited for a friend to get off work at the nursing home. The female driver meant to put the vehicle in neutral and rev the engine, but she accidentally put the car in reverse. The boys were flown from the vehicle as it slammed into the wall of the nursing home.

The lawsuit alleges that the driver “exhibited malice” in a reckless and wanton fashion which ultimately led to the woman’s death. She was cited for driving without a license, charged with careless driving, and fined $117 fine; $117 for taking a life. According to the State’s Attorney, the teens actions did not warrant criminal charges because of the nature of the accident, the fact that it occurred on private property, and because there may have been other factors contributing to her ultimate death such as age and health. The family seeks medical and funeral expenses.

Should the driver have been charged with negligent homicide? Obviously the victim has led a long life, and maybe her age and health played a role in her ultimate death, but that should not negate the fact that this young driver was negligent and that her carelessness was the primary cause of the woman’s death. Did the lack of criminal intent and the age of the victim play into the decision not to charge her? What if one of the two male teens was seriously injured or died? Would that or should that have made a difference?

Mark Bello has thirty-five years experience as a trial lawyer and thirteen years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation which helps provide legal finance cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed by a plaintiff involved in pending, personal injury, litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Member of Public Justice and Public Citizen, Business Associate of the Florida, Mississippi, Connecticut, Texas, and Tennessee Associations for Justice, and Consumers Attorneys of California, member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.