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Appeals Court Reduces Actor Robert Blake’s $30 Million Wrongful Death Judgment

The Second District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles has reduced the $30 million wrongful death judgment against actor Robert Blake to $15 million. Blake,74, had lost the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the estate of his murdered wife Bonny Lee Bakley, but filed an appeal.

Blake said that the jury that awarded the judgment had engaged in misconduct and that the court made procedural mistakes. The appeals court, however, said that it did not find any evidence of jury misconduct or that the trial court had made errors. It did, however, find that the $30 million award was “excessive” and cut the judgment in half.

If Bakley’s estate does not agree to the new award amount, there will be a new trial to determine wrongful death damages.

Blake was tried for Bakley’s 2001 shooting death, which took place outside Vitello’s, a restaurant that she and Blake frequented. The two of them have a daughter named Rose, now 8.

Blake said that he left his wife in the car while he went back to the restaurant to get his gun that he left at the restaurant table. Blake said that he carried a gun with him and had hired a bodyguard to protect Bakley, who he thought was being followed.

Blake says he returned to the car and found his wife had been shot. She was pronounced dead upon arrival at a nearby hospital. Blake was arrested and charged with her murder nearly one year after her death.

One of Blake’s more famous roles as an actor was the television detective named Barretta on the television show with the same name. He has been acquitted of all criminal charges.

If someone you love has died because of the negligent, reckless, or criminal actions of another party, you may be able to sue for wrongful death damages. Financial recovery could include compensation for pain and suffering, loss, future financial support, medical and funeral costs, and other related-damages.

Court cuts Robert Blake’s wrongful death judgment, Reuters, April 26, 2008
Actor Blake Appeals Wrongful Death, ABCNews.com

Related Web Resources:

Robert Blake Timeline, People/CNN