According to local reports, as of May 14, there were three open estates filed in Ohio for juveniles who were killed in the Chardon School shooting. The trial date for the hearing was set to be on May 20. The parents of the victims killed in the shooting filed the suits a year later against the parents and guardians of another minor named in the incident.
The wrongful death claims were originally filed in the Lake County's Court of Common Pleas, but Ohio state law requires that any wrongful death action in this case be approved by the Geauga County Probate Court. According to local reports, the courts have already received applications to get partial settlements approved for the three victims' estates named in the wrongful death cases. There was also a motion filed to keep the settlement under seal to keep the terms confidential.
Lawyers representing the victims' families in this situation may have examined the facts and evidence collected by police in order to build a strong case against the defendants. Plaintiffs filing suit on behalf of a decedent may depend on legal assistance to effectively negotiate a settlement in or out of court.
The decedents' families may be due compensation to help account for funeral expenses and other damages caused by the incident. Legal counsel might prove to be an effective support system for families who feel overwhelmed when attempting to navigate the complex legal system. Besides recovering the costs of a victim's funeral, families affected by the loss of a loved one may be compensated for the loss of companionship and services as well.
Source: WKYC, "Judge: Court gets Chardon school wrongful death filings", May 14, 2014