Lawyer's solicitation infuriates grieving family

By: Ryan Famuliner Email
By: Ryan Famuliner Email

After a tragic loss, a family says an attorney poured salt in their wounds by soliciting them through the mail.

What's worse, they say they got the package from the lawyer as they were getting home from their 3-year-old's funeral last week.

Attorney Ken Nunn, who works in Bloomington, says these kinds of solicitations are common among lawyers, and said the family probably had more than a dozen of them by now.

But the family says it's been just that one piece of mail so far, and they don't understand how people could have been so insensitive after such a tragic experience.

The scene at Cass Lake on the night of June 27 was frantic.

“(I saw her and) it was just a matter of seconds. I turned around and was talking, looked back and said, ‘Where's Kennedy?” And immediately we were all in the water,” said Jeremy Stansbury.

His daughter, 3-year-old Kennedy Stansbury, drowned in a matter of minutes.

“Kennedy was a joy... Not too many people that met her... didn’t smile,” Stansbury said, fighting back tears.

But another shock was waiting for them, a package sent to them 4 days after their daughter's death: sent priority mail.

“It was just kind of crushing to see that. We had just come back from the funeral, we had just buried her. To think of someone wanting to make a profit from our grief and our sadness, and for us to make a profit from it, you just can’t describe it with words,” Stansbury said.

The lawyer who sent the package says they always send information early.

“A lot of evidence is lost and sometimes a claim is lost, so it's a race against the clock,” Nunn said.

The cover letter said the family may have grounds to file a wrongful death suit.

“(If they) would have done a little research they would have realized that not only was it at our (family’s) own lake cottage, but we were all right there,” Stansbury said.

Nunn says he couldn’t know that without investigating further. He says the packet he sent is purely informational, to help clarify laws surrounding accidents and insurance companies.

“I would not want to upset anybody, that’s not my goal. My goal is education… and I would just say to this family please accept my apologies, that wasn’t my intent when I offered the help,” Nunn said.

Meantime, Stansbury says he did try to contact Nunn before he contacted WNDU, but wasn't able to actually talk to him.

He says the woman at Nunn’s firm hung up on him once he started telling them what he thought about all this.

Nunn says legally there’s nothing wrong with sending the letters.

Stansbury says he questions the ethics of it, and wonders how many other people have to deal with this after their family tragedies.

Nunn says it’s likely his firm found out about the drowning after it was reported in the local news.


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