Archive for wrongful death lawsuits

Muncie Murder-Suicide Leads to Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Two wrongful death lawsuits have been filed in Delaware Circuit Court 5 by Jason Delk, a local attorney who was retained by Brandi Ritchie. Brandi Ritchie has had the suits filed against the estate of a Mr. Casey L. Ritchie, 58, who allegedly killed her mother and sister. She has been appointed as personal representative of her deceased family’s estates.

Casey Ritchie’s sister, Kathy Clary, is the personal representative of Mr. Ritchie’s estate. She has been named defendant in the suit.

The bodies of Brandi Ritchie’s mother, Denise E. Miles, and sister, Rylee Nicole Ritchie, were discovered in April of this year. Mr. Ritchie allegedly killed himself with the same gun after shooting the two women.

According to Delaware County Sheriff Tony Skinner, the case is still under investigation but there is ‘conclusive’ evidence that Mr. Ritchie shot the female victims and then shot himself. Delaware County Prosecutor Eric Hoffman has also stated that the investigation into these deaths is ongoing. Most of the interviews have been completed, but DNA tests and ballistic testing are pending. Also pending is a review of the contents of the home’s computers and cellphones.

The bodies were discovered on April 28. However, according to the lawsuit filed, Miles was shot and killed on April 25. That is three days before the bodies were discovered. The lawsuit alleges that Brandi was falsely imprisoned and abused by her father over those days before she was also shot.

The lawsuit further states that Rylee Ritchie was abused throughout her lifetime by Casey Ritchie. In its text, the suit cites hat the father’s alleged ‘unlawful and tortious conduct’ opens his estate to survival claims on behalf of Rylee Ritchie’s estate. This is in addition to compensation for the girl’s wrongful death.

A second suit filed seeks damages for Denise Miles’s death. According to this suit, a judgment is sought for the damages Brandi Ritchie sustained due to the loss of her mother’s love and affection.

Denise Miles was 45 years old at her time of death, and Rylee Ritchie was just 14 years old. An impromptu memorial with candles has been created outside of their Muncie home.

Swedish Furniture Manufacturer IKEA Named in Wrongful Death Lawsuit

IKEA’s failure to provide the necessary hardware to attach a dresser permanently to the wall has led to a wrongful death lawsuit. Parents Jacquelyn and Jacob Collas are suing the Scandinavian furniture chain for the wrongful death of their toddler killed by an IKEA dresser.

heaven-has-a-hero-websiteOn February 25, 2014, Mrs. Collas of West Chester, Pennsylvania found her two-year-old son, Curren, unresponsive in his room. Curren was trapped between his overturned IKEA MALM chest of drawers and his bed with the full weight of the dresser on his chest. The boy died later that morning at Paoli Hospital. Since Curren’s death, Collas has begun the web site Heaven Has a Hero in an effort to warn other parents of the dangers posed by unsecured furniture in the home. She urges parents,

I wanted to share this because I want you to learn from my mistakes. Bolt EVERYTHING down. Dressers, bookshelves, TVs, anything that could possibly fall.

The wrongful death lawsuit filed by the Collases’ alleges that the death was a preventable occurrence. Knowing that the dresser weighed in excess of 130 pounds and that it had a risk of easily tipping over, the Collas family believes the furniture manufacturer and retailer should routinely include anchoring hardware, consumer warnings, and safety instructions with its products.

consumer-reports-injuriesThe Colasses’ dresser and other similar products, unanchored, represent a significant hazard especially to young children like Curren who are naturally curious. According to the complaint, “the IKEA defendants were aware of a tip-over hazard arising from falling vertical dressers and other furniture. According to estimates from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 43,000 consumers are injured each year in tip-over incidents, with more than 25,000 of those injuries to children under the age of 18.” With these statistics, it leaves one wondering why anchoring hardware is not included with these products.

IKEA spokeswoman, Mona Astra Liss issued this statement in response to the lawsuit, “All of our products go through extensive testing and are regularly evaluated. IKEA chests of drawers are safe for their intended use when properly assembled and permanently attached to the wall, in accordance with the warnings and instructions.”