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Six people blamed for wrongful death of California teen

When a person commits suicide, can another person be held legally accountable for those actions? The parents of a 15-year-old girl from California are attempting to do that in a lawsuit, saying that bullying and sexual abuse caused their daughter to kill herself.

Six people have been named as defendants in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of a California teen who hanged herself in September 2012. The defendants include three teenage boys who allegedly sexually assaulted the girl while she was passed out drunk at a party. The lawsuit claims the 15-year-old boys drew on and took pictures of her naked body and circulated them on the internet. The other defendants include the adult couple who own the home where the party took place and a 15-year-old girl who allegedly encouraged the actions of the boys. The girl’s name was added to an amended version of the lawsuit filed in June, which is requesting unspecified damages. 

The 15-year-old victim committed suicide approximately one week after the assault took place. She became distressed after pictures of her were posted online and classmates viewed at least one picture of her on their cellphones while at school. After discussing her feelings about the humiliating event on the social networking site Facebook, the girl hanged herself in the bathroom of her home.

A wrongful death lawsuit will not be able to bring back your loved one, but it can help ease the financial burden you may feel at this time. You may want to speak with a lawyer to discuss your legal options.

Source: NY Daily News, “New classmate blamed in California teen Audrie Pott’s bullying suicide for egging on boys who sexually assaulted, photographed Pott while she was passed out drunk,” July 29, 2013 

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