Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against the District of Columbia

By Peter DePaolis

Washington, D.C. – Washington Metro-area law firm Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP has filed a personal injury lawsuit against the District of Columbia for the death of a D.C. resident.

The complaint was filed on behalf of Barbara Mufti, the widow of the deceased, Benjamin Mufti. Mr. Mufti was killed on October 19, 2011, when a dead limb from a District-owned and maintained tree fell and struck him as he walked beneath it. According to the complaint, the District received multiple service requests, including reports of downed limbs, for various trees on the block. The District initiated work orders to investigate and remediate the problems; however, none of the work orders were ever completed. The District never attended to the tree that killed Mr. Mufti, despite the District’s actual knowledge that trees in the area constituted a dangerous condition.

“This case is a clear example of negligence on the part of the District of Columbia,” said firm partner William Lightfoot, lead attorney on the case. “Had the city acted with reasonable care and performed its duties, the existence of the dead limb would have been discovered and could have been fixed. Unfortunately, that was not the case, and now Benjamin Mufti has lost his life as a result.”

The lawsuit contains three counts against the District, including negligence, wrongful death, and survival action on behalf of Mrs. Mufti. The damages requested total $2 million.

“The District should have performed proper inspections. There was ample evidence, of which the District was aware, that the trees in that area needed attention, and the District should have investigated them. The District should have located that dead limb and removed it. The District failed to perform its most basic duties with respect to the trees on that block,” Lightfoot said.

Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP was founded in 1979 to represent victims of personal injury against those who intentionally, recklessly, or negligently caused them harm. Over the past 33 years, the firm has become a Washington Metro-area institution comprised of some of the nation’s top trial attorneys. The firm maintains strong ties to both the legal and local communities, and its main goal of helping the injured obtain justice continues today.

For more information about the case, contact our office today.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.