Jelly Belly Family Sued for Wrongful Death in Sweet Day Gone Sour

By Ephrat Livni, Esq. on May 19, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The family of a worker run over by a World War II tank on the property of Jelly Belly Chairman of the Board, Herman Rowland Sr., sued him and his son-in law, Dwayne Brasher, for wrongful death. The tank is part of an extensive antique machinery collection belonging to Roland.

The victim of this accident was Kevin Wright, 54, a father of two who assisted with maintenance of this collection. He was in attendance at the family reunion to help, reports the New York Daily News, and was riding in the tank when he was ejected and run over. Let's look at wrongful death and this unfortunate incident.

Wrongful Death, Briefly

A wrongful death claim is filed by close survivors of the victim who have suffered damages as a result of the death. It's a sort of negligence claim for families, filed in the name of the victim, and compensating them for damages due to the defendant's acts.

State statutes all vary and these will dictate which family members can sue. Recently, the step-children of the deceased victim in Caitlin Jenner's car crash last year settled a wrongful death suit "for a modest amount" after it was determined they were ineligible to recover based on their step-child status.

Sweet Day Goes Sour

Candy lovers will know Jelly Bellies, the jelly beans which come in numerous nuanced flavors. Unfortunately, the family does not seem as discerning about fun and a sweet day went very sour.

The Jelly Belly family reunion involved entertainment with the collection in the armory. Kevin Wright worked on caring for the collection and his presence was requested on the fatal ride. The driver - Dwayne Brasher, 62, the son-in-law - asked Wright to join him on a joyride because he had never driven a tank, according to the filing.

Wright sat beside him and was apparently thrown out of the vehicle while going over an artificial construction on the land. He wasn't wearing a seatbelt. He was run over. The victim's family named Brasher, the driver, and Rowland, tank and property owner, in the suit. The family has expressed sorrow over the death of Kevin Wright.

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