Coping with the death of a loved one is incredibly difficult for anyone. But it's especially burdensome when surviving family members are aware that an individual's death could have been prevented. In circumstances when another party's actions could have led to a less catastrophic outcome or could have spared the life of the deceased, family members have the right to file a claim against any individual, organization or entity they believe to be responsible for an individual's passing.
A local family has recently decided to take legal recourse and file a wrongful death claim in Cook County Circuit Court pertaining to the tragic loss of their loved one and Wilmette Uber driver, Grant Nelson.
A few weeks ago, news of Nelson's death made national headlines when the 34-year-old driver picked up teenager Eliza Wasni outside of a Walmart in Skokie, Illinois at around 3 a.m. Shortly after hitching a ride, Wasni, a 16-year-old high school student, violently stabbed Nelson to death with a machete from behind. Reports indicate that Nelson crashed and fled from the car crying for help before he was pronounced dead by paramedics.
Wasni was arrested shortly after the attack and was charged this month with first-degree murder. She is being held without bail.
The family claims that popular superstore chain Walmart, and two of its private security contractors Monterrey Security Consultants and Allied Universal are legally liable for Nelson's death. They are listed as defendants in the lawsuit. For now, the family has not specified the amount of compensatory damages they are seeking in the lawsuit.
Moments before the brutal killing, Wasni thoroughly searched Walmart for a machete and a knife. When she found the weapons, she walked out the store without paying, despite the presence of two Walmart employees near the exits of the store. Video footage reveals that Wasni was not questioned or approached to show a receipt for the dangerous items. She exited the store within feet of them. According to the family's attorney, Robert Bingle, the security guards' failure to question the teenager constituted as negligence.
“We feel strongly that Walmart had an obligation to stop this young person at 3 in the morning who had been walking around in their store with a 1-inch machete and 5-inch hunting knife and didn't purchase them and … no one did anything to stop her,” Bingle said in a statement. He claims that the incident wouldn't have occurred “if Walmart and its agents had simply followed their own procedures.”
Walmart has defended its workers in response to the family's claims. The grocery store giant claims that it will cooperate with the court, but believes that its associates “acted properly, including third-party security to a possible shoplifting incident.” The two other defendants listed in the suit have not yet responded to the allegations.
Experienced Wrongful Death Attorneys
If you have lost a family member all due to the negligence of another person, organization or entity, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the experienced attorneys at Benassi & Benassi today for a consultation.