The Arizona Court of Appeals found using a cell phone while driving at the time of an accident resulting in a wrongful death or severe injuries can support a claim for punitive damages. Plaintiffs must establish evidence of cell phone use and other evidence the driver was “consciously pursuing a course of conduct knowing it creates a substantial risk of significant harm to others.”
On May 28, 2021, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed Senate Bill 72 into law as Public Act 102-0006. The Act amends 735 ILCS 5/2-1303(a). The amendment became effective on July 1, 2021. Pursuant to Public Act 102-0006, the Illinois judgment interest statute now imposes prejudgment interest in all actions seeking damages for personal injury or wrongful death, including claims based on negligence, willful and wanton misconduct, intentional conduct, or strict liability.
The California Court of Appeal recently affirmed the lower court’s granting of summary judgment to the Regents of the University of California (“Regents”) in a case arising out of a tragic bicycle accident that occurred on the Great Meadow Bikeway located on the campus of the University of California, Santa Cruz (“UCSC”). The case – Burgueno v. Regents of the University of California (2015) WL 9700324 – strengthens governmental immunity for injuries sustained on property open to the public for “recreational purposes.”
Wrongful death actions occur when someone is killed by another person’s negligence or misconduct. In California, the cause of action for wrongful death is a statutory remedy. (C.C.P. § 377.60.) C.C.P. § 377.61 defines the types of damages which may be recoverable in a wrongful death action. Damages in a wrongful death action are measured by the situation existing at the time of the act. (McLaughlin v. United Railroads of San Francisco (1915) 169 Cal. 494.) Compensable damages in a wrongful death action include 1) loss of contributions and services, 2) loss of society, comfort and protection, 3) funeral and medical expenses, and 4) grief and suffering.
Life is precious. When it is lost prematurely, the grief and anger of the decedent’s family and loved ones can be immeasurable. They often turn to the legal system to measure their loss by way of a wrongful death lawsuit against the individual or corporate entity believed to be at fault for the unfortunate situation.