Elizabeth Clark


This Comment examines both the history of wrongful death actions and modern applications of law. This historical overview reveals that most courts reject the doctrinal bases of wrongful death actions. Specifically, when one has recovered on behalf of a decedent for fatal injuries, these courts tend to construe wrongful death statutes in a manner that denies statutory beneficiaries of a cause of action. To the extent that problems of finality and overcompensation are real, this Comment asserts that the remedy does not lie in misconstruing wrongful death acts so as to deny beneficiaries all recovery. Rather, the answer lies in fashioning damages rules that avoid overcompensation without precluding recovery altogether.

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