Mother of Autistic Boy Who Disappeared Sues City

The mother of a fourteen-year-old boy who disappeared from his school and was later found dead has sued the city, her son’s school district, the police department, and numerous other parties for wrongful death in Queens Supreme Court. The mother’s lawsuit accuses the adverse parties of negligent conduct in allowing her son to wander away from the school unsupervised.

Avonte Oquendo left his school on October 4, 2013 and went missing. His disappearance set off a massive search that sprawled the city. Sadly, Oquendo’s remains were found in the East River in January 2014, several miles from where he vanished. Oquendo’s mother and the rest of his family spent several months tortured over whether Oquendo was alive or dead when they got the terrible news that never should have had to be delivered. Fortunately the family was quick to take action against those responsible for their son’s death. If someone you love has died and you believe the cause of death was someone else’s fault it is imperative that you contact a Brooklyn wrongful death attorney at Peters Berger Koshel & Goldberg, P.C. for a free consultation to help you evaluate your case.

What is Considered Wrongful Death in New York?

Wrongful death, such as death from an incident like the one described above, is defined as a death that is caused by the wrongful act or negligence of another. Such acts serve as the basis for a civil action for damages on behalf of the decedent’s heirs. New York state law allows the family of the deceased to sue for whatever amount of money damages on behalf of a person or persons who could recover for the injuries.

Under New York law, just compensation is provided for the injuries that resulted in the individual’s death. In extreme cases involving recklessness, punitive (punishment) damages are also allowed. Accordingly, wrongful death cases frequently result in large judgments, which do not begin to make up for the loss of a loved one, but can at least compensate the families of victims so that they can move on with their lives.

Why Should I Contact a Brooklyn Wrongful Death Attorney?

In addition to a need for sound legal advice on your rights, the responsible parties are frequently (but not always) large companies or individuals with large insurance companies representing their interests. In such cases, teams of lawyers attempt to poke holes in the plaintiff’s case and make the incident seem as though it was the decedent’s fault. After the trauma and stress of the incident has taken its toll on you and the rest of your family, the last thing you need is to be wading in the pool of sharks seeking to prevent you from exercising your legal right to recover for damages from the wrongful death of a loved one. Therefore, it is important to contact a wrongful death attorney immediately following the illegal conduct that led to your loved one’s death.

Wrongful death cases are complex and present multiple legal issues and unique facts that need to be evaluated throughout the proceedings. Accordingly, if you are seeking to recover for damages stemming from a loved one’s wrongful death, do not wait to call an experienced New York accident attorney at Peters Berger Koshel & Goldberg, P.C. at (718) 596-7800 or 1-800-836-7801 for a free consultation. We will evaluate the issues in your case and advise you as to the proper course of action immediately.


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