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Death of Cowboys player may lead to wrongful death lawsuit

Texans throughout the state are aware of the death of Dallas Cowboys player Jerry Brown, who lost his life as a passenger in a car driven by teammate Josh Brent. As a result of this accident, Brent not only faces a criminal trial for intoxication manslaughter; there is also a very real possibility that a wrongful death lawsuit will be in the offing.

The accident occurred back on Dec. 8, when the two players were driving in Irving, a suburb of Dallas. Brent, who was found to have a blood-alcohol content described by police as twice the Texas legal limit of 0.08 percent, was driving. Brown, whose autopsy later revealed him to have a legally sober blood-alcohol content of 0.056 percent, was in the passenger seat. Brent hit a curb and lost control of the car, causing the vehicle to overturn at least once before it landed on a median.

Police subsequently charged Brent, who had a previous arrest for DUI in 2009, with intoxication manslaughter. He is currently out on a $100,000 bond and is required to wear an alcohol monitor.

Brown was buried by family members on Dec. 15, in a casket emblazoned with the Dallas Cowboys logo. As Brent's criminal case moves toward trial, Brown's family will continue to try to come to grips with the tragic loss of a loved one, who was only 25 at the time of his death.

In fatal accidents caused by the negligence of drunk drivers, successful wrongful death lawsuits may help to bring some degree of solace for the families of the deceased. Significant financial compensation could also help the families recover some of the earnings expected during the length of the victims' careers, as well as pay some of the other costs usually incurred with the loss of loved ones.

Source: New York Daily News, "Dallas Cowboys player killed in drunk driving accident was sober: autopsy," Rheana Murray, Jan. 4, 2013

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