Pain and suffering may become awardable in California wrongful death cases.
California can join the majority of the country in providing pain and harm suffered in cases of unjustified death. Under current law, pain and suffering are only available in cases of personal injury. Senator Laird introduced Senate Draft 447 in February 2021, which would allow the survivor of a deceased plaintiff to seek compensation for the deceased’s pain and suffering. The Senator believed that this change was necessary because COVID is delaying the courts and preventing legal proceedings, and to that end, changed the original proposal so that it would only be applicable if the pain and suffering arose before January 1, 2026 are.
Although Senator Laird originally suggested the need for this change because COVID 19 robbed some plaintiffs of their day in court, proponents of the law have raised broader concerns, such as the notion that the current law allows defendants to “get away”. Pay less compensation just because the plaintiff dies before the trial and withdraws the additional compensation from the victim’s family. Supporters of the law include the California Consumer Advocates, the California Consumer Association, and various trade unions. Opponents include the California Defense Counsel, the California Justice Association, the California Medical Association, the California Chamber of Commerce, and health care and assisted living associations.
If this bill is passed, death settlement will become more expensive. Regardless of whether death had anything to do with the underlying lawsuit.
The bill was sent to the congregation to consider this change.