On August 16 May Araim was in Helen, Georgia when she was shot and killed by a man who was sitting on the main street of the small Bravian-Style town on a bench. The man, Glenn Lampien, who shot May Ariam, was charged with involuntary manslaughter and the fate of the criminal case has yet be determined.
In the meantime, the son of May Araim, Ammar Araim, has filed a Wrongful Death Civil Cause of Action in the Pickens County Superior Court where the Defendant Lampien resides. The case is Araim v. Lampien, No. 2014SUCV566.
Two of the main questions that the Plaintiff Araim in the civil action wants answered is whether or not the shooting was indeed an accident or not, and whether the Defendant was intoxicated to excess. The civil suit alleges that the Defendant Lampien was “highly intoxicated,” and “negligently discharged the handgun” while sitting on the bench when he shot May Araim.
May Araim was an Iraqi-American woman and she was walking down the street wearing a hijab along with two other women in her family who were also wearing hijabs. A hijab is a traditional Islamic head covering.
One of the questions that the family wants answered is simple in nature, yet very complex in theory and practice: Did the Defendant shoot the Victim as an Accident as he claims, or because of her Religion as displayed by her traditional dress of the hijab? This is a question that the family has every right to have answered.
According to sources close the civil litigation, the family does not feel that the criminal charge of involuntary manslaughter will beg the question or the answer, nor does the punishment fit the crime if this was an intentional act. If convicted of the crime of an accidental shooting as alleged, then the Defendant would only face a sentence that is less than one half of the maximum sentence for a DUI death.
The civil action also names parties that may have served alcohol to Defendant Lampien which gives the case a Dram Shop element as well. I have discussed the legal theory of Dram Shop in Georgia in my prior blog posts about how the Dram Shop law in Georgia has now even extended to convenience stores.
There has been an offer of settlement from the Defendant’s insurance company, Allstate, of policy limits of $ 300,000.00. The Plaintiff, however, is not ready to settle at this time. The answers to some of his questions have to do with the blood alcohol limit of the Defendant at the time of the accident and some of this evidence will not be available until after the criminal case is resolved.
If you or a loved one has suffered from the Wrongful Death of a loved one, then we are truly sorry. These cases result from the negligent acts of another whether it be a medical professional in a medical malpractice case, a property owner who does not maintain her or his property under the law and a loved one is killed as a result, or, as we are seeing in this case, whether or not an individual intentionally committed a crime that caused the death of another.
This case also begs the question of whether or not others illegally served alcohol to someone who was already intoxicated and were, therefore, under Georgia law, responsible under a Dram Shop Legal Theory for the Wrongful Death of another.
At Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law, & Affiliates we are experts at representing people in Wrongful Death causes of action of many different proportions and in many different fact and case scenarios. If you think that you have lost a loved one due to the negligent acts of another, then Contact Us for your free legal consultation.
As the family in the case discussed herein, you deserve the answers to your questions.