The fact that one individual causes another to lose his or her life is not always considered a criminal act. Sometimes, the death is the result of an accident. Other times, it is the result of a negligent or reckless act that ended in the wrongful death of a California resident.
In 2014, Eric Johnson, a concert promoter, was shot while backstage during a Young Jeezy and Wiz Khalifa concert. A witness to this event claims that the individual who shot Johnson had a similar appearance to Jeezy; this same witness later identified Jeezy from a photo lineup. A second witness to the event also described the shooter to a police sketch artist. Apparently, the artist's rendering appeared to look similar to Jeezy. In spite of these two witnesses, Jeezy was not charged in this incident.
In addition to the emotional turmoil associated with the loss of their father, Johnson's children also incurred financial losses. They had to pay for funeral expenses as well as suffer the loss of his income. His children have now filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Jeezy.
A civil claim for wrongful death is different from murder, which is a crime. When one's negligent or reckless actions cause the death of another, it is likely that grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit exist. Regardless of whether the individual is charged with the death in criminal court, it is possible that a claim can be filed by the family in California's civil justice system. An experienced attorney can help guide the family through the process.
Source: tv3.ie, "Young Jeezy named in wrongful death lawsuit", April 21, 2017