Yeardley Love's family seeks millions from George Huguely

Wrongful death lawsuit filed in Charlottesville

Members of Yeardley Love's family have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the man convicted of killing her.

Love -- who was from Cockeysville -- was murdered inside her apartment just weeks before she was to graduate from the University of Virginia back in May of 2010.

Earlier this year a jury in Charlottesville, Virginia convicted Love's ex-boyfriend, George Huguely, of 2 nd-degree murder in connection with her death.

Because of Virginia's truth in sentencing law, if a Charlottesville Circuit Court judge accepts the jury's 26-year sentencing recommendation, Huguely will actually spend about 22 years in prison, and be out of prison by about age 45.

Yeardley Love's Mother, Sharon, and her sister, Lexie have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Huguely, seeking more than $30-million -- $29-million, 450-thousand in compensatory damages -- about 500-thousand for each year Love might have lived, according to actuarial charts – along with $1 million in punitive damages.

The lawsuit claims Huguely, "Failed to use ordinary care, leading to an accident for which he was responsible that resulted in the injuries and death of Yeardley love," according to a report in the Charlottesville Daily-Progress.

They want him to suffer for what he did more than just going to prison -- although that's a lot of suffering.  But for him to have to pay for what he did," said Byron Warnken, a law professor at the University of Baltimore.

There is another potential motivation for the Love family, according Warnken.  Huguely exercised his Fifth Amendment right not to testify at his murder trial.

That protection does not apply in a civil lawsuit.

"Here, the plaintiffs will want him to take the stand. Make him, maybe, admit it," Warnken said.

But if that is the family's motivation, they'll have to wait for it.  Huguely will be sentenced in August, and after that, his attorney's could file an appeal.  Huguely's Fifth Amendment rights would remain in place until that process ends -- at least another year to a year-and-a-half, according to Warnken.

Huguely comes from a prominent family, but by law the Loves can only target money that he has now, or might earn in the future.

"He's an adult, so even if his family has resources they can't tap into that; his family is not responsible for what he did," Warnken said.

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