Can A Swatting Incident Lead To A Wrongful Death Case?

Posted on: 15 May 2020

The police are trained to treat any individual as a potential threat in a hostage situation, especially those who are a part of a swat team. Unfortunately, an individual might not cooperate with the police or may make sudden movements and cause the police to believe that the individual is reaching for a gun. While these situations are tragic, some are sparked by a prank known as "swatting." Pranks that lead to the death of an individual can be a justification for a wrongful death lawsuit.

How Swatting Works

Swatting refers to when a suspect makes a call to the police where the police officers are given false claims of a dangerous and armed suspect, a murder, or a hostage situation. This is meant to produce a large police response. In some cases, the swatting incident simply terrorizes the victim, and the police leave after they discover that there is no emergency. However, in some tragic situations, the victim is shot and killed by the police.

Legality of Swatting

Swatting is illegal and may lead to a felony count of filing a false police report. In some cases, swatting may even be felony murder. When you commit a crime that is a felony and it leads to an individual's death, this would still be considered murder even if the death was not intentional. 

Wrongful Death in Swatting Cases

Even after the swatter has been charged with a crime, he or she can also be sued for wrongful death. You will have a better chance of winning a wrongful death case in a situation like this where the defendant caused the death through recklessness. In some cases, the death may have even been intentional as the defendant might have wanted the swatting incident to come to a deadly conclusion.

Collecting from a Swatting Incident

One of the downsides of these types of wrongful death cases is that the defendant often doesn't have a lot of assets. He or she will also be in prison and will be less likely to be able to pay you in the future. For this reason, and many others, it's important to speak with a wrongful death attorney. These professionals will review the case and determine whether it is worthwhile to bring a lawsuit against the perpetrator. However, if the perpetrator does have assets, wrongful death lawsuits can help serve as a deterrence for future actions like these.