$730K Award in Wrongful Death Suit

$730K Award in Wrongful Death Suit

A Minnesota man has been awarded over $730,00 in the death of his son in a car accident from his insurance agency.  The award sets a precedent in wrongful death suits because of its particular circumstances.  The award was settled in a “loss-of-relationship” settlement.

Ryan Rafinski, 27, was killed when the car he was riding in, driven by Tracy Darveaux, careened out of control and left the roadway on April 24, 2004.

John Rafinski, the father, filed a lawsuit with his insurance company who at first seemed unwilling to consider the case.  Western National Mutual Insurance, the insurance company in the case, said that they couldn’t cover Ryan if he lived with his father because the young man had too many driving violations.  Ryan had moved in with his father some six months before the accident occurred.

The lawsuit was settled anyway.  The claims in the suit were for the father’s loss of his son’s companionship.  The settlement awarded the father some $11,000 for funeral costs, $120,000 in past damages, and $600,000 in future damages.

The wrongful death claim was filed for underinsured motorist coverage benefits.  The jury found Mr. Rafinski had not covered up any information from his insurance agency.


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