Notorious B.I.G. Wrongful Death Lawsuit Dismissed

By Kamika Dunlap on April 19, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

After nearly a decade since the complaint was originally lodged, the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of the late rapper Notorious B.I.G. was dismissed.

The wrongful death lawsuit filed in federal court by Voletta Wallace blamed the city of Los Angeles and the LAPD officers for her son's death (whose real name was Christopher Wallace) was gunned down in March of 1997, after attending an after party during the Soul Train Awards in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

In general, wrongful death claims are usually brought by the estate of a person who was killed due to fault of another.

The most common plaintiffs are the surviving spouse or the children of the deceased. In addition, the surviving family members usually need to be suffering a monetary injury as a result of the death. Wrongful death laws differ from state to state.

The murder of east coast rap great Notorious B.I.G. has never been solved despite conspiracy theories linking his death to the murder of west coast rapper Tupac Shakur. The two had been feuding and Tupac was gunned down on the Las Vegas strip in September of 1996.

The lawsuit alleged that LAPD officers Rafael Perez and David Mack in conjunction with Marion "Suge" Knight were involved in B.I.G.'s death.

Originally, the Wallace family had won the case won the case in March, 2006 and was awarded $1.1 million judgment against the city.

However, the ruling was overturned when it was revealed the Wallaces withheld information they had previously told the court they did not have access to, according to media reports.

Since then, Judge Jacqueline Nguyen dismissed the lawsuit without prejudice (meaning the suit could be refiled), bringing an end to an eight year legal battle, at least for now.


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