When Negligence Results in Tragedy/ Accountability and Responsiveness

For my entire career, I have handled cases in which negligence results in tragic loss. A pharmaceutical company that markets a drug it knew could cause death (my hemophilia/AIDS cases being one example) ; a drunk driver killing or maiming an innocent driver or pedestrian; a rapist that changes the life of a victim forever as a result of a violent act. I have had all those cases and I could go on. They all also change the life of the lawyer because you share and live with the pain of the victim. They all cry out for Accountability on the part of the wrongdoer. That accountability is an essential component of our civil and criminal systems of justice.

Perhaps it's because I drove by the site where Mr. Barros Jr. died within minutes of the occurrence and wondered who had been in that car and saw the possessions of the car strewn about the landscape. Perhaps it's because I felt something like this would occur when I first saw the clear cutting. But the senselessness of this particular loss should outrage all of us.

Of course, there's a responsible driver. However, it is my sincere hope that an independent investigation is conducted in which all contracts, schedules, time records, payments, electronic communications, authorizations and all other relevant evidence is disclosed so that this family and the public knows what happened here. And if heads roll or people go to prison for their criminal negligence (if found to exist) it may provide this family with a margin of justice. Whoever the lawyer is for the family should not have to do this work on his/her own.

Nothing can bring back Ms. Barros' husband or his children's father. But, at the very least, they are entitled to responsiveness on the part of our government, as well as justice and accountability.

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