Nearly two years after David Woodman’s death, his family have reached a $3 million Massachusetts wrongful death settlement with Boston police. Woodman, a 22-year-old Celtics fan, stopped breathing after police apprehended him for drinking in public during the 2008 NBA championship festivities on June 18, 2008.
Reportedly, after police wrestled Woodman from the wrought-iron fence he was clinging to, he lay on the ground and for the five minutes or so that no one, including the nine cops at the scene, was in charge of him, this was when he may have stopped breathing.
The medical examiner says that Woodman’s heart stopped because he suffered an arrhythmia and that this occurred not because of Boston police brutality but due to his preexisting heat condition. At the hospital, Woodman suffered another arrhythmia before dying.
An independent report released last November cleared the Boston police in Woodman’s death-despite several “missteps” made by the police officers. However, the report recommended that the police department enhance its training for dealing with large crowds, streamline the investigative process to relieve some of the burden placed on family members, revise its policy regarding releasing statements to the press, as well as six other changes. The report also noted that there was a lack of supervision on the scene when Woodman was apprehended.
Despite the report’s findings, Woodman’s parents remain convinced that someone should be held legally accountable for his death. After the report came out, they called it a cover up.
Boston Wrongful Death
Even if the parties that contributed to your loved one’s passing never intended to inflict harm, you may still be able to hold them financially liable for Boston wrongful death if he/she was reckless, careless, or negligent in any way. Even if no criminal charges are filed, you may still be able to hold them responsible in civil court.
Parents of late Celtics fan David Woodman, from Southwick, settle with Boston for $3 million, MassLive.com, June 17, 2010
Report clears police in Celtics fan’s death, but parents see a coverup, Boston.com, November 10, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Boston Police Department, City of Boston
Wrongful Death, Nolo