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Man beaten and run over in Jackson, Mississippi, due to possible hate crime

CNN reports that the family of James Craig Anderson, 48, who was killed early June 26 in Jackson, Mississippi, has filed a wrongful death suit after Anderson was beaten and run over with a truck.

The wrongful death claim, which was filed Tuesday in a Mississippi district court, claims there were seven white teens who instigated the attack after they decided to "set out on a mission" to find and harass African-Americans.

The lawsuit is seeking a jury trial and damages. It was filed by the victim's sister, mother and two brothers, and names several teens in the suit, even two teens who acted as lookouts while other teens allegedly carried out the crime.

"James Anderson lost his life for no other reason than the color of his skin," said Morris Dees, chief trial counsel for the Montgomery, Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center, in a statement. "Those responsible must be held accountable for their callous and deadly actions. We are filing this lawsuit today to ensure his family gets a measure of justice."

This wrongful death suit is brought in conjunction with criminal charges which have been brought against Deryl Dedmon Jr., 19, of Brandon, Mississippi, who has been arrested on capital murder and John Aaron Rice, 18, who has been charged with simple assault after a judge reduced the original charge of murder.

Other teens who may have taken part in the killing and have been named in the wrongful death suit include Sarah Graves, Shelbie Richards, William Kirk Montgomery, John Blaylock and Dylan Butler. None of the teens have been arrested or charged with a crime.

The United States Department of Justice has sent investigators to Jackson to investigate the killing as a possible federal hate crime. They are assisting local prosecutors and determining if additional federal charges should be brought against the teens.

For now the civil case will be prosecuted at the same time as the criminal case, but the attorneys for defendants may eventually file motions to ask the court to stay the suit pending the outcome of the criminal trial.

Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

If someone else’s criminal or negligent actions have contributed or caused the death of a family member, you may be entitled to compensation for your loss. All personal injury or wrongful death claims have a statute of limitations which determines the length of time you have to file your claim.

Wrongful death laws vary by state. Contact a personal injury lawyer to find out how long you have to file your claim.

Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer

If someone you love has been injured or killed from the negligence of another person or party, it is time to talk to a personal injury lawyer.

Personal injury lawyers understand the complexities of personal injury law and can review your evidence, hire experts to give testimony for your case and ensure your legal rights are protected.

Injury lawyers generally work on a contingency fee basis and will only be paid if you win your wrongful death claim.

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