Do I have the right to get a copy of a video showing the death of my brother?

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Do I have the right to get a copy of a video showing the death of my brother?

My brother was hit by a train, and the train company has a video of the incident. However the company will not release the video, they showed it to the police but not my family. I feel it should be within my rights to get a copy for validation, and for better understanding of the incident.

Asked on August 25, 2010 under Estate Planning, Oregon

Answers:

M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If your brother was hit by a train, his estate may have a potential action against the railroad company for wrongful death.  I suggest that you (or whoever the administrator of your brother's estate is) meet with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.  If there is, in fact, a potential lawsuit, your brother's estate's lawyer can file a lawsuit, and then request a copy of the tape either via the discovery process, or via subpoena.  Either of these methods will compel the company to disclose the tape, which will surely become valuable evidence.  However, I should warn you that time is of the essence.  If you delay talking to an attorney and filing suit, there is certainly be a chance that the company will destroy the tape in the ordinary course of business before they are compelled to disclose it.


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