Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

Why Confidential Settlements are a “Necessary Evil.”

by Gary Brooks Mims a settlement agreement confidential is often a prerequisite for the defendant to agree to a settlement.  We have settled many cases for millions of dollars, yet the defendant (or its insurer) will insist upon confidentiality and a release that denies liability.  Really…you’re paying millions of dollars but deny you were negligent?  Obviously, the defendant knows it is liable, but for several reasons, it does not want others to know.  For example, a hospital that settles a wrongful death case may not want other potential plaintiffs to know what the hospital is willing to pay under similar circumstances.

Reston, Virginia father William Kim wants to prevent other families from enduring the indescribable pain of losing a child to suicide. His son, Virginia Tech senior Daniel Kim, died in 2007 from a gunshot wound to the head – just weeks after the school had received an email from one of their son’s friends detailing his suicidal behaviors.

In our lawsuit filed last week, Virginia Tech and its administrators are charged with negligence – not for his suicide – but for failing to follow its own published protocols for dealing with a suicide emergency. The school’s protocols require that any student threatening suicide “be seen by the psychologist on call.”

Daniel Kim was never seen by the psychologist on call or any trained mental health professional or contacted by anyone from the University and, sadly–the warning email was never shared with Kim’s parents.

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