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Family of slain law student files wrongful death lawsuit

The family of a 27-year-old Georgia law school graduate who was allegedly killed by a neighbor and classmate in 2011 has filed a wrongful death lawsuit. The young woman's family filed the suit June 17 in federal court in Macon. They are seeking more than $5 million in damages, claiming intentional infliction of emotional distress, wrongful death and interference with right of burial. This latest litigation follows settlement of an earlier lawsuit for less than $1 million, filed by the family against the insurer of the apartment building where she and the defendant lived.

They had both recently earned their juris doctor from Mercer University, and the defendant was still living in Macon while he studied for the bar exam. In June 2011 the woman's dismembered torso was found in a trash can in the building. Two months later, the man was charged with felony murder. The case has yet to go to trial, but the details seem to point to wrongful Death on several different levels.

The lawsuit claims that the defendant had a master key to all the apartments, which he used to enter the victim's apartment and steal a thumb drive containing photos of her before her death. He allegedly used a vacant apartment unit to store her torso after her death. There were allegations by a college roommate who admitted that the defendant talked of committing the 'perfect murder" and said that after dismembering his victim, he would 'scatter the parts through the woods so that no one would ever find them."

The victim's family in this case lost a loved one, and they may have been burdened by heavy funeral costs and a loss of income. A personal injury lawyer may be able to help them in the legal proceedings involving a claim for wrongful death and receiving compensation for their loss.

Source: ABA Journal, "Family of slain law grad Lauren Giddings files wrongful death suit", Martha Neil, June 18, 2013

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