The killing of just-engaged Staten Island bricklayer Anthony Lacertosa, previously written about by FindLaw’s New York Criminal Law News, just became a lot more complicated.
It turns out that the alleged attacker in the Anthony Lacertosa killing, Redinal Dervishaj, may be a possible Albanian mobster, reports New York Post. Dervishaj insists that when he put the butcher knife into Lacertosa’s chest he was acting out of self-defense of himself and the owner of the restaurant outside of which people from Lacertosa’s engagement party were urinating on the property.
After allegedly killing Anthony Lacertosa, he reportedly escaped to Illinois where he was hiding out at the house belonging to his aunt.
Regardless of which direction the criminal process goes from here on out -- whether Redinal Dervishaj will be found guilty of the second-degree murder -- members of Anthony Lacertosa's family will probably be considering a wrongful death action against the owner of the restaurant for having hired someone allegedly casued a death.
A "wrongful death" occurs when a person is killed due to the negligence or misconduct of another individual, company or entity. An action for wrongful death belongs to the decedent's immediate family members (distributees).
The most common distributees are surviving spouses and children, and sometimes parents. A suit for wrongful death may only be brought by the personal representative of the decedent's estate. Actions for personal injury, conscious pain and suffering, or expenses incurred prior to the decedent's death are also brought by the personal representative. The damage awards from these actions belong to the estate and may pass to different parties as directed by the decedent's will.
That means that Anthony Lacertosa's fiancee would likely not be able to recover; rather, the case would have to be brought by his parents.
As for what theory of personal injury law the family's attorney might rely on, that remains to be seen.
- Find a New York Personal Injury attorney (FindLaw)
- What Do You Need To Know About Knives in New York? (FindLaw's New York Personal Injury News)
- Assault and Battery (FindLaw)