Loss of Accumulation of Estate in Wrongful Death: A State-by-State Analysis

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David I. Rosenbaum and Matthew J. Cushing. 2016. Loss of Accumulation of Estate in Wrongful Death: A State-by-State Analysis. Journal of Legal Economics 22(2): pp. 65–106.
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Whether the additions to the estate a decedent would have accumulated over a natural lifetime and left to heirs is a pecuniary loss in a wrongful death action varies by state. Some states allow recovery by statute, jury instruction, or legal interpretation. Other states specifically forbid recovery. Most states, however, make no specific mention of estate accumulations as a pecuniary loss and the current practice is not to claim recovery. This practice may not hold into the future. There is recent case law supporting accumulation of estate as a pecuniary loss and courts seem favorable to reviewing evidence compelling enough to make such losses non-speculative. We review the law and relevant cases in each state and delineate where such losses are either allowed, disallowed, not likely to be claimed, or potentially supportable.
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Authors David I. Rosenbaum and Matthew J. Cushing
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