Judge says family of murder victim can seek punitive damages

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A Superior Court judge says relatives of a woman who died last year as part of a murder-suicide in Lyndonville can seek punitive damages from the family of the man who killed her. The case is the first of its kind in Vermont.

The ruling in Caledonian County Superior Court comes in the case filed by the family of Carole Anne Lozinski who police say was killed in a domestic dispute a year ago by her estranged boyfriend John Chichester.

Chichester killed himself after the shooting.

At issue is whether or not Vermont’s wrongful death law precluded awarding punitive damages.

Judge Thomas Zonay wrote in his ruling that Chichester’s suicide should not provide an escape from liability.

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