Many people in North Carolina likely remember the criminal trial of O.J. Simpson during the 1990s in which he was found not guilty of murdering his wife, Nicole Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. They might also be aware that Ron Goldman’s family won a civil wrongful death lawsuit against Simpson in which they were awarded $33.5 million.
Despite the judgment, Simpson has paid very little of the damages. With interest, it has grown to $70 million. Simpson was recently released from prison after serving time for a robbery in which he was trying to take back sports memorabilia. The Goldman family reportedly learned that he had signed autographs for pay in order to cover his legal bills.
The Goldman family recently filed a motion through their attorney asking the court to order Simpson to turn over any money that he makes through celebrity autographs or appearance to go toward the wrongful death judgment. Simpson’s attorney has filed an objection and stated that Simpson has no intention of making public appearances. Therefore, he claimed Simpson should not be ordered to turn over money from signing autographs.
The Goldman family’s wrongful death case illustrates several important legal points. The surviving family members of people who have been killed by the negligent acts or intentional conduct of others are able to file civil wrongful death lawsuits even if the responsible parties have been acquitted in criminal cases. However, a plaintiff may have to take additional measures to collect on judgments that have been issued in their favor. Experienced personal injury lawyers may file motions to seize assets and to garnish wages so that they might help their clients to recover compensation.