Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
The Texas wrongful death statute gives a specified group of survivors a cause of action for losses they sustain as a result of their decedent's wrongful death. Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat. Ann. art. 4675 (1952).
The decedents were killed in a crash of Piper PA-31-310 aircraft. The executors of the decedents’ estate (collectively, “plaintiffs”) filed a wrongful death and survival case against Piper Aircraft Corp. After a five-week trial, the jury found Piper liable for the decedents’ deaths and awarded the plaintiffs over eight million dollars in damages. The trial court rendered judgment for the plaintiffs. The court of appeals reversed the trial court’s judgment. On further appeal, plaintiffs argued that loss of inheritance, companionship, and society damages were proper, as was prejudgment interest.
Did the appellate court err in disallowing loss of inheritance, companionship, society damages, and prejudgment interest?
Yes, except with respect to the prejudgment interest.
The court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals, except for the denial of prejudgment interest. The court held that petitioners were entitled to recover loss of inheritance damages because adequate pleadings and some evidence support the jury’s finding of loss of inheritance damages. Moreover, the court held that parents of deceased adult children had a cause of action for loss of society. The court further held that prejudgment interest was proper on survival damages but not on loss of inheritance damages, and disallowed the award of prejudgment interest because it could not segregate the future damages from the past damages.