According to the Daily Record, A Baltimore father who lost his son to suicide has successfully won his wrongful death claim against the boy’s stepfather, who the jury found negligent.
In 2005, Brian Montes shot himself in the head with a 9 millimeter pistol that he found in his stepfather’s draw. The gun was not locked away and bullets were close by. The family had eleven guns in the house despite the fact that Montes had a long history of severe depression and suicide attempts. In fact, Montes had overdosed on pills just weeks before the final incident. The pills were painkillers belonging to Montes’ stepfather.
Montes killed himself using the guns of his stepfather, Frank Eisler. Montes lived with his mother and stepfather in the years after his mother and father’s divorce.
At first, Montes’ father, Joseph Montes, simply wanted a letter of apology from Eisler – a public letter than explained that guns should not be within a child’s reach in any household, especially when the child suffers from depression and suicidal thoughts. However, when Eilser did not grant that simple request, Montes filed a Maryland wrongful death suit that held Eisler responsible for his stepson’s death. The jury took an hour to award $50,000 to Joseph Montes.
Even though Brian Montes pulled the trigger that ended his life, his stepfather should have known about this pending violent act and acted to prevent it. By not doing so, the jury found him negligent.
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