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Love Family to File Wrongful Death Lawsuit - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Love Family Set to File Wrongful Death Lawsuit

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Lexie Love, Yeardley Love, Sharon Love Lexie Love, Yeardley Love, Sharon Love

A wrongful death civil lawsuit is set to be filed in the murder of University of Virginia lacrosse player Yeardley Love.

A judge says the lawsuit can move forward, granting Sharon Love – Yeardley's mother – access to the commonwealth's files.  But the judge isn't ready to open up those same files to the media.

Convicted murderer George Huguely had nothing to say about a wrongful death lawsuit when bailiffs walked him into court.  The lawsuit is set to be filed in connection with the murder of his ex-girlfriend Yeardley Love.

The UVA lacrosse player was killed in May 2010 at her apartment on 14th Street in Charlottesville.  Huguely, her killer, has been convicted of second-degree murder.

The court filing indicates that Sharon Love and Lexie Love, Yeardley's sister, will be the beneficiaries of the wrongful death claims.

A judge says Sharon Love's lawyers can work with the commonwealth's attorney to obtain some of his materials and information used in the criminal prosecution of Huguely.

Mahlon Funk, Sharon Love's attorney, said, "In due course, everything you might ask me will be answered.  But for now no comment.  It would inappropriate at this time."

Under Virginia law, both people and corporations can be named in the lawsuit.  The Love family says Huguely, his family, and the University of Virginia have not been ruled out. 

Also in court, the judge did not rule on a media request to release trial evidence.

H. Robert Yates, a media attorney, said, "We tried to craft a plan that would alleviate some of the burdens that the clerk office would have, while still balancing some of the sensitive evidence."

The judge is considering two plans and will make a decision in late May.

Huguely will be formally sentenced on August 30.  He faces up to 26 years in prison.


Virginia Code:

§ 8.01-50. Action for death by wrongful act; how and when to be brought. A. Whenever the death of a person shall be caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of any person or corporation, or of any ship or vessel, and the act, neglect, or default is such as would, if death had not ensued, have entitled the party injured to maintain an action, or to proceed in rem against such ship or vessel or in personam against the owners thereof or those having control of her, and to recover damages in respect thereof, then, and in every such case, the person who, or corporation or ship or vessel which, would have been liable, if death had not ensued, shall be liable to an action for damages, or, if a ship or vessel, to a libel in rem, and her owners or those responsible for her acts or defaults or negligence to a libel in personam, notwithstanding the death of the person injured, and although the death shall have been caused under such circumstances, as amount in law to a felony. B. Every such action under this section shall be brought by and in the name of the personal representative of such deceased person within the time limits specified in
§ 8.01-244 C. If the deceased person was an infant who was in the custody of a parent pursuant to an order of court or written agreement with the other parent, administration shall be granted first to the parent having custody; however, that parent may waive his right to qualify in favor of any other person designated by him. If no such parent or his designee applies for administration within thirty days from the death of the infant, administration shall be granted as in other cases.

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