PLAINTIFFS' TRIAL BRIEF/JURY INSTRUCTIONS
filed with the SUPERIOR COURT, FRANKLIN COUNTY, WASHINGTON
Jan. 22nd 2003
HIGH, Plaintiffs, vs.
PASCO SCHOOL DISTRICT, Defendants.
TRIAL ISSUES - # 9
What damages are legally recoverable
by Mr. and Mrs. High and Jared’s estate as a result of his death?
Plaintiffs are entitled to recover economic losses and general
damages resulting from the death of Jared High, including the destruction
of the parents’ loss of their relationship with their son and their grief
and mental anguish.
Mr. and Mrs. High bring this action under RCW 4.24.010, Action
for injury or death of child. That statute provides, in pertinent
A mother or father, or both, who has regularly contributed to the support
of his or her minor child . . .may maintain . . .as a party an action as
plaintiff for the injury or death of the child.. . . .
In such an action, in addition to damages for medical, hospital,
medication expenses, and loss of services and support, damages may be recovered
for the loss of love and companionship of the child and for injury to or
destruction of the parent-child relationship in such amount as, under all
the circumstances of the case, may be just.
The legislature added the language related to “loss of love and companionship”
and “injury to or destruction of the parent-child relationship” in 1967.
The effect of that amendment was decided by the Supreme Court in Wilson
v. Lund, 80 Wn.2d 91, 491 P.2d 1287 (1971), where the issue was whether
the deceased child’s mother could recover for her grief and mental anguish.
After considerable discussion, the court held:
In short, unless we were to conclude that the additional language
of the 1967 amendment to RCW 4.24.010-i.e., "loss of love . . . and . .
. injury to or destruction of the parent-child relationship"-is mere surplusage
and is to be afforded no meaning and effect, we must interpret that language
to allow recovery for parental grief and mental anguish.
Plaintiffs will not offer evidence of loss of net earnings or earning capacity
suffered by Jared High’s estate, nor any loss by them of the economic value
of his services.
RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED this 22nd day of January, 2003.
By: Jay E. Leipham, WSBA # 4961
(Attorney for Brenda High)
HEAR JARED'S VOICE - PLAY
- From an interview with Pasco School District investagators concerning
the assault. This is a recording of a recording and it isn't real
clear, but worth the download effort. Jared had a real mellow voice.
Note: If you have a slow load wav, wait for it to load entirely and then
play again from the start. 5 minutes long
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Jared's Sister says: