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CompaniaDominicana de Aviacion v. Knapp

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Charles Knapp brought a wrongful death action against CompaniaDominicana de Aviacion when an airplane owned by CompaniaDominicana de Aviacion crashed into Knapp’s auto shop, killing his son.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    A plaintiff can recover for a decedent’s loss of services and pain and suffering in a wrongful death action.

    Facts.

    Clifford Knapp (Decedent) worked for an autoshop owned by his father, Charles Knapp (Charles). When an airplane owned by CompaniaDominicana de Aviacion (Company) crashed into the shop, Decedent died, and Knapp brought a wrongful death suit against Company. Knapp was awarded $1,800,000 for loss of services and pain and suffering, the Company appealed.

    Issue.

    Whether a plaintiff can recover for a decedent’s loss of services and pain and suffering in a wrongful death action?

    Held.

    Yes. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed. The damages award was not excessive.

    Points of Law - for Law School Success

    Our Supreme Court has said it was prejudicial error to allow the submission of evidence of settlement by defendant of the claim of a third party in the same accident.

    View Full Point of Law
    Discussion.

    A plaintiff can recover for a decedent’s loss of services and pain and suffering in a wrongful death action. The jury maintains deference in determining the amount of damages.


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