January 01, 2012

Whistleblower and Wrongful Death Claims

Neil V. Getnick

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To:       File

From:  Neil V. Getnick

Re:      Whistleblower and Wrongful Death Claims

Tracy Vitello is hurt. She’s angry. And she wants justice.

Tracy has lost her spouse, Diana Gray, who just died in a car crash. She blames Diana’s employer, GyneTech, believing that the company retaliated against Diana for doing her job—and may even have engaged in foul play to silence Diana permanently. Tracy also blames Toyota, the manufacturer of Diana’s car, suspecting that faulty brakes caused or contributed to the crash. On top of that, Diana’s former husband, Jared Bentz, is now suing to void Tracy’s same-sex marriage and gain custody of his and Diana’s children, who have been raised by Diana and Tracy.

To Tracy, these all may seem to be inseparable strands of a single outrageous fate. To us as lawyers, though, her situation presents a series of discrete and disparate issues, potentially related but requiring a careful assessment of their individual and combined litigation risks. At the same time, Tracy needs more from her lawyer than a clinical and detached legal analysis of her situation. She deserves an empathetic approach that will help her feel better about her circumstances and that will give her a greater sense of control over her future and an agreed-upon plan for achieving the best practical outcomes.


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