Who you can sue in a wrongful death lawsuit depends on what happened. In some cases, when the primary individual responsible for the death is unavailable or unable to pay for any judgment, you may decide to go after a third party.
The Ohio Revised Code specifically notes when you cannot hold a property owner accountable for a death occurring on his or her land. There are a few elements that will determine if you can move ahead with the lawsuit.
Who committed the act?
You will need to determine who was the responsible party. You want to look at what happened and the person who did whatever it was that led to the death of your loved one. Was this person under the control of the property owner? If not, then you cannot sue the property owner. However, if the owner did have control over that person, then you might have a valid claim.
What was the owner’s role?
You will want to see how much control the owner had over the situation. If the owner was negligent and could have stopped whatever happened, then you may have a case. Otherwise, if the owner was an innocent party who had no ability to control the situation, you likely do not have a case.
What was the act?
Ohio law specifically focuses on acts that are violent and unprovoked. This could impact your ability to sue. You should consider all the characteristics of your situation compared to what the law says to determine if you could potentially sue a property owner.