The Estate of Melinda Duckett Sues Nancy Grace for Wrongful Death

 

The attorneys that represent the Estate of Melinda Duckett filed a wrongful death law suit Nancy-grace-2against Nancy Grace, CNN and her producers. Melinda Duckett committed suicide the day after a harsh exchange during an interview with TV cable host Nancy Grace.

Attorney Jay Paul Deratany states that Nancy Grace encouraged Melinda Duckett to come on her show to draw attention to the case. Two thing is for certain:

  • 1) Shock and today’s ambush journalism in a ratings at all cost has hindered the focus of the disappearance of Trenton Duckett.
  • 2) Now that police are stating that Trenton Duckett may still be alive, the case would have been much easier to have dealt with if Melinda Duckett was still alive.

Please note that Jay Paul Deratany, attorney representing the Estate of Melinda Duckett will be a guest of Dana Pretzer on Scared Monkey’s radio Friday, November 24 at 9:00 EDT.

UPDATE: Listen to Dana Pretzer’s commentary regarding The Melinda Duckett Lawsuit Against CNN and Nancy Grace

Read the rest of the law suit filed against Nancy Grace at Missing & Exploited.

Posted November 21, 2006 by
Crime, Judicial, Media, Missing Persons | 40 comments


If you liked this post, you may also like these:

  • Grandparents of Melinda Duckett believe grilling by CNN’s Nancy Grace contributed to Suicide
  • Dana Pretzer Show- Special Guests: Jay Paul Deratany, Kevin Miles & Wade Jones
  • Trenton Duckett Still Missing … Did Trenton Ever Have a Chance? Neither Parent Acted in his Best Interest
  • Melinda Duckett Did Write a Suicide Note After All
  • Melinda Duckett Prime Suspect, Police Confirm that Melinda Duckett Wrote MySpace Threats




  • Comments

    40 Responses to “The Estate of Melinda Duckett Sues Nancy Grace for Wrongful Death”

    1. Maggie on November 21st, 2006 6:53 pm

      It won’t go anywhere. They would have to show intent.

    2. Kat_gram on November 21st, 2006 7:03 pm

      Another cash grab. How could Nancy Grace be resposible for Melinda Duckett’s suicide ?
      From what I understand, Melinda’s problems began before Nancy Grace ever came on the air. What about the medical care that Melinda did not receive ? What about Family Services for giving Trenton back to this obviously troubled Mum ? What about her family ? What about the people who had the gun in the closet ? The suicide was carried out by Melinda herself and there was a history of problems. Maybe the police are responsible for asking her questions ?
      And who is the ” Estate ? ” Where were they when Melinda was crying out for help in her short troubled life ?

    3. Scared Monkeys on November 21st, 2006 7:27 pm

      Do you mean intent to defraud or misrepresent?

      Unfortunately, that’s what they do.

      This is a battle between “law suits on demand” and “gotcha/shock media for ratings”.

      Its hard to pick a winner. We just saw from News Corp and the OJ debacle just what media orgs are willing to do.

      Something has to be done regarding the present situation within the media and ratings grabs as well.

      R

    4. chris on November 21st, 2006 7:28 pm

      Nancy has been good about periodic follow-ups on Natalee’s case, so maybe we can do something to show her our support.
      We’ve become very good at letter writing and CNN should hear from us……chris

    5. Kat_gram on November 21st, 2006 7:36 pm

      Well what about Greta who makes me GAG ? Can I sue Fox ?
      Or will Fox sue me for saying that ?
      Sensationalism sells. When ppl protest to the advertisers and the networks become afraid of losing revenue, that is when the media will take notice, not becasue they have ethics or integrity, but when the bottom line of the MSM is threatened.
      I have seen many so called news shows that are not news, just gossip dressed up like a news program. Are there any real journalists left on TV ? I have to think on that one.

    6. dennisintn on November 21st, 2006 7:40 pm

      where would the duckett case have been without nancy’s media exposure? on the back burner somewhere? nobody looking? if natalee’s disappearance and aruba’s debacle hasn’t done anything else, it’s shown the networks the power these cases have on us, the public. to my way of thinking, msm makes the police work harder to keep from being talked about like aruba is. give them hell, nancy.
      dennisintn

    7. Maggie on November 21st, 2006 7:41 pm

      They have to show that Nancy had intent to harm Melinda Duckett. Watched this personal injury attorney on Fox today talking to Martha live desk.. interview video from today is at the bottom of the page here, he doesn’t think they have a case.

      http://www.foxnews.com/livedesk/

    8. Kat_gram on November 21st, 2006 8:17 pm

      Ah, her very absent parents. I am in a mood. Where exactly were her parents when all this happened ? Where were they when she was woking two jobs ? Doesn’t sound like they were very supportive of poor Melinda when she was alive, but now, hello, we are the parents and we are suing ! ! !
      I would go to Fox, but I have a GAG block on and it does not allow me to go there. Wow, anyhthing else I can rant about ! ! What about the outhouse known as Aruba ! !

    9. Janet on November 21st, 2006 8:28 pm

      Hey … nobody forced Melinda to appear on Nancy Grace …. nobody forced her to answers questions …. nobody held her in the studio against her will ….

      Give me a break!

      Janet

      _________

      SM: No, no one forced her to do the interview. However, they most likely did lie to her.

      Having done interviews and dealt with cable news producers I can tell all of you from experience they are less than truthful. That is an issue. Making promises in order to get an interview over the competition and then “gotcha”.

      I do like Nancy Grace … I, however, do think she made a major mistake with this one. Will the law suit work? Probably not. Should the MSM be more accountable, human and ethical? YES.

      R

    10. IndyDan on November 21st, 2006 8:39 pm

      I just wish Nancy could interview the raping-murdering Vandersloot family and drive a couple of them to suicide.

    11. Mortella on November 21st, 2006 8:42 pm

      I heard a psychologist saying that one event seldom causes a suicide and that makes sense to me. IT might have triggered it but certainly is not the sole reason for it. Now what role did those parents play in producing this young woman so sad and depressed that she would do this?

      And I fear still that she killed her child. If not, then whomever had him would have likely come forward by now.

      This suit will go no where and these negligent parents are dreaming.

      Just my opinion as always.

      ———-

      SM: I agree with you. No one event probably ever causes suicide, only in really tragic situations like the death of a child where one becomes despondent. There is a trigger.

      It may not be criminal what NG did, it certainly was irresponsible. People in the media have to understand they are not law enforcement. Nor are they investigators, detectives or DA’s.

      This case would have been better served as would have getting to the bottom of Trenton Duckett’s disappearance  if Melinda Duckett was still alive.

      R

    12. molly on November 21st, 2006 9:12 pm

      This little {{edit}} was high on snorters and killed the kid.
      Now some money hungry lawyer wants a bit of money and
      Nancy Grace gets the blame. Nancy deserves an Emmy. The
      Gal killed herself and saved us the money to try her for
      the murder of her kid. All a shame.

    13. Scared Monkeys on November 21st, 2006 9:37 pm

      How would everyone have felt if Nancy Grace had followed the lead of “hate sites” and accused Beth Twitty of what she accused Melinda Duckett? How would everyone have felt if NG used the same type of accusatory tone?

      Serious question … what would every one’s reaction have been if at any point she had asked questions accusing the Twitty or Holloway family of the “troll-like” accusations all have read?

      RED

    14. Janet on November 21st, 2006 9:47 pm

      Red …. I have been placed in situations in my life that I have not felt comfortable …. things were not what I expected. I made personal choices to walk away. Good Bye.

      Melinda has emotional problems before she ever entered the Fox studio. Nancy asked the hard questions …. a baby boy was missing and his mother’s account was not making any sense. I could not help imagining my precious grandchildren …..

      I know I am rambling on.

      Hey Red, I usually agree with you but on this one we have to agree to disagree.

      Janet.

      _________

      SM: All I am saying is that the MSM are no angels. I have seen some real hateful and beyond unethical things in making promises and buttering up people. I agree with you that Melinda had some issues prior to the interview. That is common knowledge. When she did the tel interview with NG on CNN she had no idea what was about to happen. Asking questions is fine … however, there comes a point where one has to stop badgering.

      What came of it all? Nancy Grace probably lost many a future interview because people are not going to tolerate that type of forum. Melinda is dead. In part, not fully caused by NG.

      Here is the issue. If one knows that a person has a mental issue and you need answers from them … you do not yell at them, pound your fist and scream at them. That’s the last thing one does. If Nancy Grace thought Melinda Duckett was guilty, the last thing one would do is back an animal into a corner. It never works.

      That’s the point. Nancy Grace is a former prosecutor. She knows very well that one cannot question in a harsh manner all suspects. Different approaches for different people. A hard line attack was never going to get answers.

      Let’s take Jaime Skeeter’s as an example, think yelling at Deepak and pounding his fist on the table was ever going to get DK to talk? Nope.

      Sometimes one must use the velvet hammer not a sledge hammer to get results.

      R

    15. Scared Monkeys on November 21st, 2006 10:22 pm

      Hey #13 is supposed to be though provoking …

      People have to have opinions … there is no wrong answers.

      R

    16. kpg on November 21st, 2006 10:25 pm

      Melinda called into the show when she found out Josh was appearing on the show. Melinda was not a scheduled guest on the show. Melinda’s agenda was to try to trash Josh.

      Nancy began by asking Melinda simple questions. Melinda did not answer any questions. Nancy gave her a chance to explain herself, unfortunately Melinda could not.

      Then Nancy’s “bs meter” kicked in.

    17. joe bear on November 21st, 2006 10:30 pm

      The question is,WHERE IS TRENTON.I know that the media are not saints,etc.

      __________

      SM: BINGO!!!

      Thru her zeal … NG managed to interject herself into the story.

      Its supposed to all be about “Where’s Trenton” without distraction.

      R

    18. Bill on November 21st, 2006 10:42 pm

      #12 – Molly:

      You don’t have any proof of what you are saying and it
      simply makes no sense. I’ll bet you watch Nancy Grace and
      all those other tabloid/true crime shows because you sound
      just like her with your self-righteous attitude.

      I just hope that I am never a victim of a child abduction
      with you around because you go wayyyyyyy too far with your
      assumptions. You know nothing about Melinda Duckett,
      anymore than you know about Nancy Grace.

      Personally, I thing you stink of a troll.

    19. Carpe Noctem on November 22nd, 2006 5:50 am

      LOL

      Of all the beautiful shots of Nancy Grace that you had
      to pick from… Did ya have to pick the one where
      she has the Cruella Deville eyes going on…
      lookin like she’s about to go ‘Lorena Bobbit’
      on somebody’s hiney?

    20. MIss-Underestimated on November 22nd, 2006 9:52 am

      Carpe

      I was thinking the same thing. Those “Don’t mess with me eyes”.

    21. MIss-Underestimated on November 22nd, 2006 10:00 am

      Here’s where I think the problem lies, when interviewers become attorneys who want to cross examine their guests.

      I cannot say that Nancy caused Melinda’s suicide, but I think in Melindas mind she may have felt that others were onto her, and Nancys cross examination just reinforced that feeling. But WTH that just my lil ole opi freind.

      Was Nancy responsible? No, unless they found Nancys finger prints on the gun…otherwise can Nancy sue and say that Melinda’s parents are responsible for the suicide?

    22. mac on November 22nd, 2006 1:41 pm

      I think Nancy went over the top on this one. She should have to pay, one way or the other.

    23. Skyboxx on November 22nd, 2006 2:26 pm

      Regardless of Nancy Grace’s involvement, the lady who took her own life is solely resposonsible for her actions.

      Responsibility is your ability to chose your response. She didn’t like the interview and the questions, she made a horrific decision and took her own life. The family is suing because money is to be made. Why not sue Children services for labeling Melissa a bad mother? Why not sue the parents or the grandparents? Why note sue the biscuit company from the sugar biscuit she ate the morning of her death? Why not sue the Ex husband? Why, because Nancy/Cnn has ratings and revenue.

      This is a horrific money grabbing lawsuit. Is your coffee hot?

      Melissa was a troubled soul who sought enablers for her to blame her problems on. The family saw this and didn’t step in. But now that Trenton is gone? Melissa is gone, there is money to be had.

      I don’t like Nancy (face time) Grace, but she shouldn’t have to pay.

      Stop the madness, stop all frivilous lawsuits.

    24. Sheri in Michigan on November 22nd, 2006 3:54 pm

      The last I heard it could have been that Melinda Duckett was PLANNING THE SUICIDE! She had tried it before, desperately needed some psychiatric help, shouldn’t have been left alone with that little boy at any time and was totally obsessed with hurting her husband Josh in any way possible! She got rid of the cutest little boy to date (aside from mine who is now 21) and got rid of all his toys, pictures…..and didn’t she even give the money (money she probably got for selling Trenton)to her relatives secretively….she wouldn’t want any money found in her apartment because it might have been turned over to Josh. She didn’t want him to have any pictures or any memories of his very own son! She deserved to have died….she is SATAN! It’s Trenton that I am concerned with…..HE DIDN’T HAVE ANY SAY IN THE MATTER OF HOW HIS CHILDHOOD WAS TAKING PLACE…..THEY, ESPECIALLY “SHE” IS MESSING THAT LITTLE BOYS MIND UP FOR GOOD. I SURE HOPE HE FINDS HIS WAY BACK TO HIS DAD OR IF NOT, TO A STABLE, CARING, LOVING FAMILY WITH 2 GOOD PARENTS! TRENTON DESERVES A GOOD LIFE….HE DID NOTHING WRONG TO DESERVE THE CRUELTY THAT HE HAS KNOWN FOR HIS 2-3 YEARS OF LIFE! I JUST HOPE IF SOMEONE DOES HAVE HIM, THEY WILL DROP HIM OFF AT A PUBLIC PLACE SUCH AS A HOSPITAL WITH NO QUESTIONS ASKED! THAT IS THE WORD THAT NEEDS TO GET OUT. YOU WOULD THINK MELINDA’S PARENTS WOULD BE CONCERNED ABOUT THAT….BUT NO…THEY ARE ONLY CONCERNED ABOUT SUING NANCY GRACE!!! NANCY….WE LOVE YOU AND YOU DID EVERYTHING RIGHT THAT NIGHT DURING YOUR MELINDA INTERVIEW. I SAW THE ORIGINAL SHOW AND I THOUGHT TO MYSELF…”YOU GO NANCY!! SOMETHING HAS TO BE WRONG THAT SHE WOULDN’T SAY WHERE SHE WAS SHOPPING THAT DAY OR NAME EVEN ONE PLACE SHE VISITED ON HER OUTING WITH TRENTON. MAYBE THE PARENTS OF MELINDA DUCKET SHOULD BE SUED FOR NOT GETTING THE HELP MELINDA NEEDED WHEN THEY ALREADY KNEW OF HER PAST SHENANIGANS WITH HER MENTAL HEALTH!! MAYBE, ACTUALLY, HER PARENTS KNOW WHAT MELINDA DID WITH TRENTON….YA THINK? HMMMMMMM…..THEY DON’T SEEM TOO CONCERNED ABOUT FINDING HIM….I DON’T BELIEVE I HAVE EVER SEEN EVEN A PICTURE OF THEM, HAVE YOU? WOW….STRANGE FAMILY!

    25. Kat_gram on November 22nd, 2006 10:11 pm

      # 13. There is a diffeence between Melinda and Beth.
      .
      # 1.) Beth was in another counrty when Natalee went missing. So, how could grilling her had led to finding Natalee ? Beth was never a suspect except in fairly odd
      people from another planets’ minds.
      And, I have heard many complaints about the warm and fuzzy Greta interview with Joran where she DIDN’T hold his feet to the fire, yet Nancy is sued and criticized for holding Melinda’s feet to the fire.

    26. Joanie on November 22nd, 2006 10:42 pm

      Melinda could have just HUNG UP THE PHONE!

    27. mayan_moons on November 23rd, 2006 12:12 am

      As i sit here typing this comment i have just learned a civil suit jury has found me NOT liable in a car accident that happened 9 years ago.

      Here is what happend that day 9 years ago.

      I was driving North & approaching a major intersection & had a green light, the other driver in the south bound left turning lane of said intersection. There was 2 cars in the left turning lane, car 1 made the left turn in front of the 3 lane oncoming North bound traffic & cut it close but they cleared the intersection. Car 2 wanted to follow car 1 & was hesitating as she moved into the intersection. I was watching closely & breathed a sigh of relief when she stopped trying to make a left hand turn in front of me as i approached the intersection. Well as i was right in the middle of the intersection here she was turning right in front of me & we crashed. Eye witness’s stopped & the police came, she admitted turning left across 6 lanes of traffic & she also said she was uninsured & that the car she was driving was not her own.
      She got a ticket not me which btw she never showed up for court regarding her citation.
      My ins. couldn’t locate her to pay damages that she caused to my truck so they ended up paying for the repairs.
      Six months later i was served & named in a civil suit for damages she caused, it was August 1998. One delay after another & several times i showed up for court & either the lady or her lawyer or both didn’t even bother showing up for court. No phone call to my lawyer, nothing and the judge let them get away with it time after time.

      Oh and get this, the police citation the heiffer got describing by witness’s telling the cop where everyone was when the crash happened…..could NOT be used in court against her, nor the fact she had No insurance.
      _______________________

      Melinda Duckett was a world class POS to her own child as evidenced by her throwing everything connected to her son
      in the garbage theday of & the day after she reported Trenton missing.

      When people report their children missing & ask the media for help yet can’t answer simple questions they are wasting precious time & resources that could be used to help another family. Its not like Nancy grilled Melinda on day 1 of the boy being gone & its not like Melinda was cooperating with police & just getting *picked on* by Nancy.

    28. mayan_moons on November 23rd, 2006 12:26 am

      Ironicaly i was a jury foreperson in a civil suit involving a fender bender 2 years before i was sued. I can tell you first hand that juror’s don’t like being herded arround like cattle so scammer’s can lie, cheat & steal someone else’s livelihood away from them.

    29. Mr. Justice on November 23rd, 2006 10:32 pm

      #13
      The lawsuit will go no where and it should not. In order to get to the truth the harsh questions must be asked. Josh was able to answer the questions and was not “attacked” and Melinda was evasive. If Beth had acted the same way; you would not have to ask what I would have thought, for I would have been the one asking those harsh questions. Melinda has always been about herself, as is her family, her death outside of the information she took to the grave about Trenton is neither sad nor bad.

    30. Scared Monkeys on November 24th, 2006 5:55 pm

      [...] 9:00 pm: Jay Paul Deratany (Melinda Duckett family attorney) [...]

    31. Scared Monkeys Radio » The Dana Pretzer Show - Friday, November 24th, 2006 on November 25th, 2006 8:22 am

      [...] 9:00 pm: Jay Paul Deratany (Melinda Duckett family attorney) [...]

    32. kay zee ess on November 25th, 2006 10:37 am

      Hopefully, but not counting on it, Nancy dis-Grace will be a little more sensitive to the police work needed on cases such as this one and not interfere with the authorities job as she did in this tragic situation.

      But hey, her viewing #’s climbed and all the free media exposure probably justified(in her mind) her obstruction of the case. Great job.

    33. Michelle from Madison on November 27th, 2006 10:20 pm

      Nancy Grace is going to Hell for sure, no doubt at all. Nancy has victimized tooooooooooo many victims already. She needs some time in prison for her crimes Nancy has perpetrated against victims. Because Nancy was never a victim herself, she has no clue at all. Nancy “claims” she was a victim before, but the facts are that Nancy has never been a victim of a crime. Her fiancà © was, but not Nancy. And, Nancy was never even related to Keith (her fiancà ©). Nancy should expect to pay huge in the lawsuits filed against her by Melinda’s parents. What Nancy contributed to, resulting in the death of Melinda IS a crime. Things are finally catching up to Nancy. Hope Nancy’s TV-replacement will cover Nancy’s incarceration down the road, and maybe criticize what Nancy gets served for meals while Nancy is in prison. We will be sure to tune into that show. Here is another website Petition for Nancy to be charged with Negligent Homicide. http://www.petitiononline.com/nopetit1/petition.html

    34. Michelle from Madison on November 28th, 2006 9:17 pm

      On Tuesday night’s Nancy Grace show, she injected herself again into another active-police-investigation regarding a “microwaved-baby.” Nancy should have learned her lesson when she recently injected herself in a different active police investigation and the psychologically-fragile mother of a missing child soon after lost her life as a direct result of Nancy’s documented interference in the case. Bad Nancy, bad, bad Nancy. She really needs to be stopped from being a factor to the “injuries or deaths” of victims.

    35. susan on May 13th, 2007 2:09 am

      Nancy Grace is a very very sad person, and someone needs to stop her.

    36. jbaers1185@hotmail.com on January 16th, 2008 6:11 am

      I saw this cool post from Michelle from Madison where she hit the nail on the head in this post.
      “Not only was Nancy drinking all the time, she was even photographed drinking while she was pregnant, and she even was opening up her Bud Lights while on the air while she was pregnant and doing her show recently. Plus, she took a ton of fertility-medications in order to get pregnant. For someone that old, she’s almost 50, that alone could result in catastrophic complications for those poor little victim-twins. If her alcoholism-problems were not enough, Nancy subjected those twins to the possible complications of those medications, plus her repeated hospital visits were reportedly due to complications consistent with old-mothers, and drug and alcohol abuse. Finally, when the hospital forcibly ripped those twins away from her, it was clearly the signs and symptoms of her documented problems with both drugs and alcohol. Hopefully her file has been sent over to the Prosecutor’s office for review for possible criminal charges.”

    37. The Cressman Law Firm, PA on March 27th, 2008 9:36 am

      It will be interesting to see where this goes. Reporters have to sink to new lows like this because as we all know in a market supply meets demand. Viewers demand to see degradation and violence and thats what news corps provide. The general public encouraged her actions by watching her show.

    38. Angela Haggert on June 27th, 2008 8:21 pm

      I read on some website that Nancy Grace was convicted on a high-court misdemeanor and ordered to pay out millions of dollars for her irrational and illegal actions she perpetrated against a distraught mother of a missing child who later committed suicide as a direct result of Nancy’s law violations. CNN and Nancy have worked hard to cover up those facts and it remains some of the reasons why Nancy is never allowed to appear on any television show of CNN without at least one of her Psychologists or Psychiatrists present to help Nancy deal with her documented psychological problems that Nancy says she has to remain on medications for, for the rest of her life. Is that why Nancy can still not be left alone with either of her two children? Is it because of the propensity and potential toxicity of Nancy’s meds, or is it because Nancy may become violatile again and harm the children?

    39. Patty from Orlando Florida on November 6th, 2008 9:23 pm

      We love you Nancy. Keep showing us pictures of your great grandkids, they are aborable.

      Are those the kids you are suspected of molesting?

    40. Joe Trapmouth on January 22nd, 2009 12:37 am

      Someone please stop Nancy Grace before she hurts someone else. Seriously, folks! The woman is out of control and needs to be checked by legal action. How many more of her guest need to commit suicide before people understand that, “Trial by media,” is a not only a bad idea but ethically corrupt and onslought against constitutional rights. There’s a difference between interviewing a person and play judge, jury, and executioner via television with the whole viewing world agreeing that the show’s guest are as guilty as Nancy say’s they are. It’s dis-grace-ful!

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