Kurzban Kurzban Tetzeli and Pratt P.A.

Boy Fatally Shot by Border Patrol, Family Sues for Wrongful Death

Losing a loved one in a fatal accident can be devastating, especially if the cause of the accident is unknown. What can be even worse is when the fatal accident is caused by the negligence of another, whether that is an individual or a corporation. If a death is caused by the negligence of another, family members of the victim can sometimes file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Just this week, a federal lawsuit was filed on behalf of the family of a Mexican boy who was killed in June of 2010. According to the lawsuit, the U. S. Border Patrol is liable for the wrongful death of the boy who was shot by a Border Patrol agent.

The lawsuit gives conflicting stories as told from the FBI report and from the family's point of view.

According to the FBI, the boy and some others were throwing rocks at Border Patrol agents from across the Rio Grande River near El Paso, Texas. According to the FBI, border agents are able to use lethal force if people are throwing rocks at them.

The family states the boy and some friends were playing around the U.S. border. One friend was caught by a border agent; the others ran away and hid. The boy was hiding underneath the international bridge when an agent shot across the border. He was fatally shot and left there.

According to the family's attorney, the border agent had no reason to shoot the boy because he wasn't a threat. Additionally, some witnesses contend that the boy and his friends were not even throwing rocks at the agents.

Wrongful death claims can help a victim's family financially. The boy's family is seeking a multi-million dollar compensation settlement.

Source: Miami Herald online, "Family of Mexican teen killed by border agent sues," The Associated Press, 17 January 2011

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