Long Island: “Woman who drowned her 3 kids in tub in 2008…”

by Walter Olson on July 24, 2013

“… wants cut of wrongful death settlements.” “A mentally disturbed suburban New York woman who drowned her three young children in a bathtub in 2008 wants a cut of $350,000 in wrongful death settlements obtained by the children’s fathers, attorneys said Friday. Leatrice Brewer, 33, was found not guilty because of mental disease or defect in the deaths of her children, so her attorneys say she should not be subject to laws that bar convicts from profiting from their crimes.” [Associated Press/NY Daily News]

{ 11 comments }

1 Richard Nieporent 07.24.13 at 8:11 am

We have a Darwin award for people who manage to kill themselves from sheer stupidity. Why not have a Chutzpah award for people who have the temerity to attempt to profit from their own horrendous acts. I nominate Leatrice Brewer and her attorney.

2 Bob Lipton 07.24.13 at 8:21 am

She did all the work. Shouldn’t she share in the profit?

Bob

3 Rob 07.24.13 at 9:21 am

“…her attorneys say she should not be subject to laws that bar convicts from profiting from their crimes.”

Not to be rude (okay, maybe a little rude,) but this is the sort of thing that makes so many of us distrustful of and disdainful towards lawyers. Do law schools or bar associations have any standards anymore? Do law licenses mean anything, since obviously blithering idiots can get them?

4 Jim Collins 07.24.13 at 9:59 am

I’m more interested in who has to pay the $350,000 and why?

5 John Burgess 07.24.13 at 10:19 am

@Rob: “Blithering idiot?” How so? Here’s an attorney who sees the chance to earn $100K for a bit of legal work. He’s not lacking smarts, but something — or several somethings — else.

6 Rich 07.24.13 at 11:47 am

The Surrogate’s Court has not made any determination yet and she did admit she killed her kids, so even though she was not convicted for their murder by reason of mental disease or defect, her admission should bar her from recovery, in addition, though not raised in the article, couldn’t the children’s estates look to recover damages from the mother for being the cause of the deaths?

7 Ron Miller 07.24.13 at 1:06 pm

She’s not getting any money. Her seeking money is hardly a big crime in comparison to killing her children. I think the “you have some nerve” indignation is hysterical. She killed her kids. Nothing else she does in this life is going to raise much ire with me.

Please note: this guy is not a tort lawyer, assuming it is this guy: http://www.peterjkelley.com/peterjkelley.html

Trust me, this claim is going nowhere. The lawyer is not a smart guy getting around the system. He is a guy making a reach, probably to get his name out there or something.

Rob, there are lots of bad lawyers. That job that you do? It has people that are awful too, right?

8 Hugo S. Cunningham 07.24.13 at 2:11 pm

Headlines like this help explain why there is a lot of jury nullification with insanity defenses. Perhaps 50% of violent defendants meet some sort of definition of “insane,” but jurors won’t buy it, unless they are grasping for an excuse to let off a defendant they sympathize with.

9 blhlls 07.24.13 at 4:20 pm

I don’t know how the law in New York works. However, if she has some kind of conservator or entity responsible for her affairs, it would be a breach of that person’s duty not to pursue the claim if the argument can be made in good faith under applicable law.

10 Jack Olson 07.26.13 at 12:50 pm

Jim Collins, the babydaddies filed the suit against Nassau County, arguing successfully that the county welfare office failed to protect the children. It would not, of course, occur to them that they failed to protect their children, too.

11 Robert 07.26.13 at 10:59 pm

Clearly she needs to sue the manufacturers of the bathtub for making a defective product.

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