BILL REQ. #: H-0546.3
|State of Washington||60th Legislature||2007 Regular Session|
Read first time 01/30/2007. Referred to Committee on Judiciary.
AN ACT Relating to actions for wrongful injury or death; amending RCW 4.20.010, 4.20.020, 4.20.060, and 4.24.010; and creating a new section.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
Sec. 1 RCW 4.20.010 and 1917 c 123 s 1 are each amended to read
(1) When the death of a person is caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another or entity, his or her personal representative may maintain an action ((
for damages)) against the
person or entity causing the death(( ; and although)) for the economic
and noneconomic damages sustained by the beneficiaries listed in RCW
4.20.020 as a result of the decedent's death, in such amounts as
determined by a jury to be just under all the circumstances of the
(2) This section applies regardless of whether or not the death ((
shall have been)) was caused under such circumstances as amount, in
law, to a felony.
Sec. 2 RCW 4.20.020 and 1985 c 139 s 1 are each amended to read
such)) action under RCW 4.20.010 shall be for the benefit
of the wife, husband, child or children, including stepchildren, of the
person whose death shall have been so caused. If there be no wife or
husband or such child or children, such action may be maintained for
the benefit of the parents, sisters, or brothers(( , who may be
dependent upon the deceased person for support, and who are resident
within the United States at the time of his death)) of the deceased.
In every such action the jury may give such damages as, under all circumstances of the case, may to them seem just.
Sec. 3 RCW 4.20.060 and 1985 c 139 s 2 are each amended to read
(1) No action for a personal injury to any person occasioning death shall abate, nor shall such right of action ((
determine)) terminate, by
reason of such death, if such person has a surviving spouse or child
living, including stepchildren, or if leaving no surviving spouse or
(( such)) children, (( if there is dependent upon the deceased for
support and resident within the United States at the time of decedent's
death,)) the person has surviving parents, sisters, or brothers(( ; but
such action may be prosecuted, or commenced and prosecuted, by the
executor or administrator)).
(2) An action under this section shall be brought by the personal representative of the deceased, in favor of ((
such)) the surviving
spouse, or in favor of the surviving spouse and (( such)) children, or
if no surviving spouse, in favor of (( such)) the child or children, or
if no surviving spouse or (( such)) a child or children, then in favor
of the decedent's parents, sisters, or brothers (( who may be dependent
upon such person for support, and resident in the United States at the
time of decedent's death)).
(3) In addition to recovering the decedent's economic losses under this section, the persons listed in subsection (1) of this section are entitled to recover any noneconomic damages personal to the decedent including, but not limited to, damages for the decedent's pain and suffering, anxiety, emotional distress, loss of life itself, loss of enjoyment of life, shortened life expectancy, or humiliation, in such amounts as determined by a jury to be just under all the circumstances of the case.
Sec. 4 RCW 4.24.010 and 1998 c 237 s 2 are each amended to read
(1) A mother or father of a child, or both, ((
who has regularly
contributed to the support of his or her minor child, and the mother or
father, or both, of a child on whom either, or both, are dependent for
support)) may maintain or join as a party an action as plaintiff for
the injury or death of the child if the mother or father has had
significant involvement in the child's life including, but not limited
to, either giving or receiving emotional, psychological, or financial
support to or from the child.
(2) In addition to recovering damages for the child's health care expenses, loss of the child's services, loss of the child's financial support, and other economic losses, damages may be also recovered under this section for the loss of love and companionship of the child, loss of the child's emotional support, and for injury to or destruction of the parent-child relationship, in such amounts as determined by a jury to be just under all the circumstances of the case.
(3) An action may be maintained under this section regardless of whether or not the child has attained the age of majority.
(4) Each parent is entitled to recover for his or her own loss separately from the other parent regardless of marital status, even though this section creates only one cause of action((
, but if the
parents of the child are not married, are separated, or not married to
each other damages may be awarded to each plaintiff separately, as the
trier of fact finds just and equitable)).
(5) If one parent brings an action under this section and the other parent is not named as a plaintiff, notice of the institution of the suit, together with a copy of the complaint, shall be served upon the other parent: PROVIDED, That notice shall be required only if parentage has been duly established.
Such notice shall be in compliance with the statutory requirements for a summons. Such notice shall state that the other parent must join as a party to the suit within twenty days or the right to recover damages under this section shall be barred. Failure of the other parent to timely appear shall bar such parent's action to recover any part of an award made to the party instituting the suit.
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.))
NEW SECTION. Sec. 5 This act is remedial and retroactive and
applies to all claims that are not time barred, as well as any claims
pending in any court on the effective date of this act.