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On November 25, attorney Benjamin J. Razi filed civil suit on behalf of Robert Wone‘s widow. The suit was filed against the three roommates—-Joseph Price, Victor Zaborsky, and Dylan Ward—-who have been charged with obstruction of justice. The civil complaint lays out a wrongful-death case; the family is seeking $20 million. But I wonder if there isn’t a huge flaw in the case already. Did the family file its civil case too late?

Under “Count One: Wrongful Death,” plantiff’s attorney Razi cites the District of Columbia’s Wrongful Death Statute, D.C. Code 16-2701.

That statute basically defines wrongful death and sets the definition and scope. But D.C. Code 2702 lays out who can bring a wrongful-death case and the statute of limitations for such cases:

“An action pursuant to this chapter shall be brought by and in the name of the personal representative of the deceased person, and within one year after the death of the person injured.”

Robert Wone was murdered on August 3, 2006. His death is more than two years old. So, did Razi—-a partner with big-time firm Covington & Burling—-make such an error and file his wrongful-death case too late?

Razi isn’t saying.

When reached on the phone last night, Razi refused to discuss this potential screw up. “We’ll address that and any other legal issue in our pleadings,” he said. “I don’t have any other comment.”

One prominent attorney we talked to says: “The statute of limitations on a wrongful death case is one year. I know of no exceptions. But I haven’t seen the complaint. Maybe they thought of some thing I don’t know about.”

You can read the civil case complaint. (PDF, 3.6 MB)

*photo courtesy of Model Minority.