Posted on Wednesday, October 26th, 2016 at 1:46 am    

Jim Carrey, best known for films such as How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Dumb and Dumber, has been named in a wrongful death lawsuit filed in California. The lawsuit, filed by his girlfriend’s estranged husband, accuses Carrey of being responsible for her death. Cathriona White, Carrey’s on-and-off girlfriend, died of an apparent overdose.  People reported that White’s autopsy revealed she had several drugs in her system at the time of death, including Ambien, propranolol, oxymorphone, and oxycodone. Mark Burton was married to White at the time of her death.

Burton’s lawsuit is the second wrongful death lawsuit filed against Carrey regarding White’s death. White’s mother, Brigid Sweetman, has also filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Carrey.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Some may question if White’s estranged husband has the right to file a lawsuit. Under California’s wrongful death laws, a person’s spouse, domestic partner, or child has the right to file a wrongful death claim. If the person died without a spouse, partner, or child, the person’s parents, siblings, or other relatives may file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Even though he was estranged from White, they were not legally divorced. Therefore, Burton is White’s legal heir. It will be up to the court to determine who has priority in this case, the estranged spouse or the deceased’s mother. In either case, the person must prove that White’s death is the result of Carrey’s negligence or wrongful actions.

Burton is using California’s Drug Dealer Liability Act as one of the allegations in his lawsuit. Under the Drug Dealer Liability Act, a family member can seek compensation from a person who sells or markets illegal drugs. However, the law is intended to punish drug dealers. For illegal drugs. Even if he can prove that Carrey gave the prescription drugs to White, Burton may have a difficult time proving the act rose to the actions covered under the Act.

Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

It is unknown how much either plaintiff is seeking in their lawsuits against Carrey. In a typical wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff may receive compensation for damages including:

  • Any medical expenses from the date of the accident through the date of death;
  • All cremation, burial, and funeral expenses;
  • Lost wages and support;
  • Loss of services, including household services, childcare, etc.; and,
  • Loss of companionship, love, affections, guidance, and moral support.

Each case is unique; therefore, the damages available in your case may be different from the above list. Our Sacramento wrongful death attorney can review the factors used to determine the types and amounts of compensation you may be entitled to receive through a wrongful death lawsuit.

Contact a Sacramento Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Losing a loved one is a traumatic event, regardless of the circumstances. However, the pain and grief of losing a loved one are amplified when a preventable accident caused the death. If you have lost a loved one because of a traffic accident, medical mistake, or other accident, our Sacramento lawyers can help.

Call the Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 or chat with a representative on our website. We offer free legal consultations for families who have lost a loved one in a tragic accident. If you have more questions regarding a wrongful death claim, we encourage you to contact our office now. Time is limited for filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Act today to protect your right to seek justice for your loved one and your family.

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