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Gary v. Schwartz

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Barbara Gary filed a wrongful death action against Schwartz after Schwartz negligently struck and killed her 16-year-old son.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    The proper measure of damages in a wrongful death suit is the pecuniary value of the decedent to the plaintiff, and medical and funeral expenses.

    Facts.

    A 16-year-old, Robert Gary, was killed by the negligent driving of Schwartz. Barbara Gary (Gary) filed a wrongful death action against Schwartz. The jury found in favor of Gary.

    Issue.

    What is the proper measure of damages in a wrongful death suit?

    Held.

    Yes. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed and the damages award was reasonable.

    Discussion.

    The proper measure of damages in a wrongful death suit is the pecuniary value of the decedent to the plaintiff, and medical and funeral expenses. If the decedent is a child, the damages award should be reduced by the expenses the plaintiff would have incurred to care for the decedent.


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