He made us laugh in movies like “Liar, Liar”, “The Mask” and “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective”. But now Jim Carrey is back in the spotlight for a completely different reason. He is now facing a wrongful death lawsuit in connection with the suicide of his girlfriend Cathriona White. Mark Burton, White’s estranged husband, filed a wrongful death complaint against the actor this week. Burton was legally married to White while she was dating Carrey. The complaint alleges Carrey provided White with illegally obtained prescription drugs that caused her to commit suicide.
To prove Carrey is responsible for wrongful death, Burton must show the actor supplied White with the addictive pharmaceutical drugs, knowing she would use them to harm herself. But proving Carrey is guilty of wrongful death will not be easy, mainly because White willingly took the highly addictive drugs outside of Carrey’s presence. Burton’s complaint also alleges White had a history with depression and had previously attempted suicide.
While many high-profile wrongful death lawsuits often result in out of court settlements, Carrey says he is prepared to fight against the charges. In a statement obtained by People Magazine, Carrey said, “What a terrible shame. It would be easy for me get in a back room with this man’s lawyer and make this go away. But there are some moments in life when you have to stand up for yourself and defend your honor against the evil of the world.”
One piece of evidence both parties will use in this case are the text messages sent by Carrey near the time of White’s death. According to the toxicology reports, Carrey sent a text asking if she knew where the painkillers went from underneath the sink. The actor also mentioned he was missing a bottle of anti-inflammatories. Burton also alleges Carrey sent “bogus” texts to “cover up his complex and complicity in her death.” Burton must prove Carrey sent the texts after providing White with the pills. It would show Carrey knew he had no reason to give her the pills and had a guilty conscience.
Although proving the case will not be easy, Carrey stands to lose significant celebrity value in a long, intrusive and embarrassing court battle. For Carrey, he must show Burton’s allegations are a form a legal extortion. Burton will try to prove Carrey took advantage of a fragile woman through his power and celebrity. Burton has also requested the Los Angeles Police Department open an investigation into White’s suicide.
So what can Burton expect to receive in a wrongful death settlement? The settlement would be based on White’s earning potential and the nature of her relationship with Burton. According to People Magazine sources, White and Burton were separated at the time and were planning to start divorce proceedings. It was also revealed few people in White’s hometown of Cappawhite, Ireland, including several relatives, even knew she was married.
Unlike the movies, there is rarely a happy ending when it comes to wrongful death. Regardless of the outcome of this case, winning a wrongful death case can never bring the deceased back. But when a loved-one has died or suffered catastrophic injuries as the result of negligence from others, it is vital to hire an experienced wrongful death lawyer that can help recover the compensation you deserve.