California residents may be interested to learn that the estate of Bobbi Kristina Brown has filed a lawsuit against the boyfriend she had when she was alive, Nick Gordon, alleging that he caused the injuries that led to her death. Brown was the only daughter of the late Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown.
Brown and Gordon shared a home together before the incident that led to her death. Legal documents allege that after beating her on the morning of Jan. 31, he gave her a "toxic cocktail" and then placed her face-down in a bathtub of cold water, where she was later found unconscious. After she was found, she was placed in a medically induced coma. She later died in hospice care.
Speculation arose about Gordon shortly after Brown was found unconscious. He was not allowed to visit her in the hospital and did not attend her funeral. He was questioned by police about bruises on Brown's body, but he claimed they were a result of his attempts to perform CPR on her. He has not been charged for any crime related to the incident. Gordon's lawyer claims the lawsuit is meritless.
A wrongful death claim is a civil action. Instead of attempting to punish the person allegedly responsible for a death with prison, the purpose of a civil lawsuit is to seek money damages. Families of deceased victims may also be able to ask for punitive damages in some cases, which are designed to punish the defendant and discourage others from following a similar course of conduct.
A wrongful death case must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence. That means that the plaintiff must show that the defendant more likely than not caused the death in the manner that the plaintiff is alleging.