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Wrongful death claim results in settlement for Martin parents

Previous attempts between the parents of Trayvon Martin and the Retreat at Twin Lakes homeowners association to reach a settlement out of court failed, but public documents released in April show a second round of negotiations was successful. Settlement efforts resulted from a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the association. George Zimmerman shot Martin in his capacity as head of Neighborhood Watch for the association.

The agreement covers five pages and specifically omits any admission of liability by the association. It is also clearly stated that Zimmerman was not a party to the settlement. The amount of the settlement and source of the funds has been redacted from public documents. It is generally thought that the settlement exceeds one million dollars. This belief is at least partly based on the previous negotiations that resulted in a one-million dollar offer that was declined by the parents.

The settlement explicitly rests any further wrongful death claims for compensation or punitive damages against the association or its insurers. The attorney for Martin's parents stated in no uncertain terms that a wrongful death claim will be pursued against Zimmerman at a later date.

As stated by an attorney who focuses on representing homeowners associations, wrongful death claims are often "filed against anybody who could possibly have any culpability." With the loss of a loved one, the family of the victim must deal with funeral expenses, emotional pain and suffering, lost wages and even final medical expenses. They are also often left with a feeling of being deprived of their loved one by someone else's negligence. A wrongful death lawyer in Connecticut could help the family recover damages and a feeling that their loved one did not die in vain.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, "Trayvon Martin's parents settle wrongful-death claim," Rene Stutzman, April 5, 2013

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