On September 28, 2017, Attorneys Gobind Sethi and Samantha Sledd succeeded in their pursuit for justice on behalf of a client who lost her brother to a violent gun death. In 2012, the client’s brother was murdered by his long-time roommate and friend who suffered from mental illness. Just a week before the shooting, the roommate’s mother had taken possession of her son’s gun after he used it to threaten the client’s brother. The brother—who had developed a close relationship with his roommate’s family—relied on the mother to keep the gun away from her son who was outwardly exhibiting signs of paranoia as a result of his mental illness. The mother admitted that she had taken the gun away out of fear for her son’s safety and the safety of others, and further admitted that she intended to keep it out of his hands permanently. Nevertheless, through her apparent negligence, she allowed her son to retake possession of the gun. Tragically, just a few days later, the son used the gun to shoot and kill his roommate and then himself.
During the four-day trial, the client testified to the immense grief she has suffered as a result of her brother’s death and the knowledge that it was preventable. The client also testified to one of her last conversations with her brother, noting that he relied on the mother’s assurances that the gun no longer posed a threat to him. Attorneys Sethi and Sledd presented evidence to show that the mother knew her son had retaken possession of the gun, and then knowingly failed to warn the client’s brother so that he could take measures for his own safety. After a brief deliberation, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the client. After many years of hard-fought litigation, the client was able to walk out of the courtroom knowing she did everything she could to obtain justice for her brother.
Guided by the courage and resolve of their client, Attorneys Sethi and Sledd overcame numerous legal obstacles to obtain this verdict. With slim legal precedence to guide them, they forayed into a little travelled area of the law and achieved ground-breaking rulings along the way. Their success in this case will pave the way for other similarly-situated individuals seeking justice for themselves or their loved ones.
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