Virginia: Wrongful Death – a Lawyer’s Slayer

Virginia: Wrongful Death – a Lawyer’s Slayer

On February 28, 2013, the Virginia Supreme Court handed down Osman v. Osman, No. 120291, and appeal of a case involving wrongful death from the Circuit Court of Virginia Beach. It construed Virginia’s “slayer” statute, Va. Code Ann. §55-401, to preclude a son from inheriting from his mother, whom he had killed.

Despite admitting her wrongful death by his hand, Defendant son in Osman criminally was found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity. Id. at *2-3. Nonetheless, under the civil preponderance of evidence standard, Osman found the son committed murder since he acted intentionally despite not understanding his actions were wrongful. Id. at *9.