Local News

Text Of Peterson Lawsuit

Posted October 30, 2002

— Caitlin Atwater filed a wrongful-death civil lawsuit against Mike Peterson on Tuesday, accusing Peterson of murdering her mother, Kathleen Hunt Atwater Peterson, who was married to Peterson at the time of her death. Authorities have charged Peterson with murder, but he has not gone to trial yet.

Here is the complete text of the lawsuit filed Tuesday at the Durham County Courthouse:

CAITLIN V. ATWATER, Administratrix for the Estate of KATHLEEN HUNT ATWATER PETERSON, Plaintiff, vs. MICHAEL PETERSON, defendant

Now comes the plaintiff, Caitlin V. Atwater, Administratrix for the Estate of Kathleen Hunt Atwater Peterson, and complaining of the defendant, Michael Peterson, says and alleges as follows:

PARTIES AND JURISDICTION

1. The plaintiff, Caitlin V. Atwater, is a citizen and resident of Beaufort County, North Carolina. The plaintiff is the duly appointment Administratrix of the Estate of Kathleen Hunt Atwater Peterson in Durham County, North Carolina, and she is acting in such capacity in bringing this action for the wrongful death of Kathleen Hunt Atwater Peterson.

2. The plaintiff's decedent, Kathleen Hunt Atwater Peterson (hereinafter "Kathleen Peterson"), was a citizen and resident of Durham County, State of North Carolina, until her death on December 9, 2001.

3. The defendant, Michael Peterson, is a citizen and resident of Durham County, North Carolina.

4. This wrongful death action is brought within two years of the death of Kathleen Peterson.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

5. At all relevant times, the plaintiff was Kathleen Peterson's only child.

6. At the time of her death on December 9, 2001, Kathleen Peterson was married to the defendant.

7. At all relevant times, and up to her untimely death, Kathleen Peterson was in excellent health, and she was a devoted and loving mother for her daughter, the plaintiff.

8. In the late evening hours of Dec. 8, 2001, or in the early morning hours of Dec. 9, 2001, the defendant did intentionally, maliciously, willfully and wantonly assault Kathleen Peterson, thereby causing her death.

9. As a direct and proximate result of the defendant's murder of Kathleen Peterson, the plaintiff is entitled to recover of the defendant all damages available under G.S. 28A-18-2, including but not limited to

a. compensation for the pain and suffering of Kathleen Peterson caused by the defendant's fatal assault;

b. the reasonable funeral expenses for Kathleen Peterson;

c. the present monetary value to the plaintiff for the reasonably expected net income of Kathleen Peterson;

d. the present monetary value to the plaintiff for the loss of reasonably expected services, protection care and assistance of Kathleen Peterson;

e. the present monetary value to the plaintiff for the loss of reasonably expected society, companionship, comfort, guidance, kindly offices and advice of Kathleen Peterson; and

f. punitive damages for the murder of Kathleen Peterson.

10. The plaintiff, in her capacity as Administratrix for the Estate of Kathleen Hunt Atwater Peterson, is entitled to recover from the defendant compensatory damages in an amount to be determined by a jury, but in any event, in an amout in excess of Ten Thousand Dollars.

JURY TRIAL DEMAND

THE PLAINTIFF HEREBY RESPECTFULLY DEMANDS A TRIAL BY JURY ON ALL ISSUES OF FACT SO TRIABLE.

WHEREFORE, the plaintiff, Caitlin V. Atwater, in her capacity as Administratrix for the Estate of Kathleen Hunt Atwater Peterson, respectfully prays to the court as follows:

1. That the plaintiff have and recover from the defendant, Michael Peterson, compensatory damages for the wrongful death of Kathleen Hunt Atwater Peterson in an amount to be determined by a jury, but in any event, in an amount in excess of Ten Thousand Dollars.

2. That the plaintiff have and recover from the defendant, Michael I. Peterson, punitive damages for the wrongful death of Kathleen Hunt Atwater Peterson an amount to be determined by a jury, but in any event, in an amount in excess of Ten Thousand Dollars.

3. For a trial by jury on all issues so triable.

4. That the plaintiff have and recover from the defendant the costs of court, and interest, to the extent permitted by law.

5. That the plaintiff have and recover from the defendant reasonable fees whenever and to the extent permitted by law; and

6. That the plaintiff have such other and further relief which to the Court sees charitable, just and proper.

RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED, this the 29th day of October, 2002.

Jerome P. Trehy, Jr., Counsel for the Plaintiff

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