The family of a Paterson man who was shot to death by police is now filing a wrongful death action, seeking to recover ten million dollars from the city of Paterson and the Paterson police department as compensation for wrongful death. Saulo Del Rosario was found with a hammer in his hand when police arrived at his home. Police had been called by Del Rosario’s family when the family found him to be non-responsive to their attempts at verbal communication, after Del Rosario had failed to take his regular seizure medication. Upon arriving at the residence, police allegedly entered the home with a protective shield, demanded that Del Rosario drop the hammer, and shot when Del Rosario did not comply with their order.

New Jersey’s Survival Statute

Under New Jersey’s Survival Statute, N.J.S.A. 2A:31-1, Del Rosario’s heirs are entitled to seek damages on his behalf for losses which Del Rosario suffered as a result of his death. These amounts could include the cost of medical attention before Del Rosario’s death, if sought, as well as lost income. Limitations imposed by New Jersey law prohibit the heirs from seeking any damages for pain and suffering or emotional distress. Any damages recovered under the Survival Statute will pass to Del Rosario’s heirs or beneficiaries through his estate, intended to compensate for any losses suffered by Del Rosario himself.

New Jersey’s Wrongful Death Act

Under New Jersey’s Wrongful Death Act, N.J.S.A. 2A:31-4, the family of a person killed by the actions of another may seek further damages for their own emotional and monetary losses resulting from the death. Under this law, any dependents who relied on Rosario can pursue damages to compensate for the financial support they will lose. Family members may also seek damages for their loss of enjoyment of his companionship, the value of any services he contributed to the household, and medical and funeral expenses. Although no price tag can fully compensate for the loss of a loved one, these laws aim to ensure that the families of wrongful death victims can be compensated as fully as possible for their tragic losses. If you have experienced the loss of a loved one resulting from the actions of another, please call us to discuss what damages you might be entitled to seek as compensation for your loss.