☰ Revisor of Missouri


Chapter 537

< > Effective - 28 Aug 2005    bottom

  537.090.  Damages to be determined by jury — factors to be considered. — In every action brought under section 537.080, the trier of the facts may give to the party or parties entitled thereto such damages as the trier of the facts may deem fair and just for the death and loss thus occasioned, having regard to the pecuniary losses suffered by reason of the death, funeral expenses, and the reasonable value of the services, consortium, companionship, comfort, instruction, guidance, counsel, training, and support of which those on whose behalf suit may be brought have been deprived by reason of such death and without limiting such damages to those which would be sustained prior to attaining the age of majority by the deceased or by the person suffering any such loss.  In addition, the trier of the facts may award such damages as the deceased may have suffered between the time of injury and the time of death and for the recovery of which the deceased might have maintained an action had death not ensued.  The mitigating or aggravating circumstances attending the death may be considered by the trier of the facts, but damages for grief and bereavement by reason of the death shall not be recoverable.  If the deceased was not employed full time and was at least fifty percent responsible for the care of one or more minors or disabled persons, or persons over sixty-five years of age, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the value of the care provided, regardless of the number of persons cared for, is equal to one hundred and ten percent of the state average weekly wage, as computed under section 287.250.  If the deceased is under the age of eighteen, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the annual pecuniary losses suffered by reason of the death shall be calculated based on the annual income of the deceased's parents, provided that if the deceased has only one parent earning income, then the calculation shall be based on such income, but if the deceased had two parents earning income, then the calculation shall be based on the average of the two incomes.


(RSMo 1939 § 3654, A.L. 1945 p. 846, A.L. 1955 p. 778 § 537.080, A.L. 1967 p. 663, A.L. 1973 H.B. 173, A.L. 1979 S.B. 368, A.L. 2005 H.B. 393)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 3264; 1919 § 4219; 1909 § 5427


Applicability of statute changes to cases filed after August 28, 2005, 538.305

(1987) Award of $6.5 million dollars in action for wrongful death of plaintiff's 22-year-old daughter was not so large to be deemed excessive and not permitted pursuant to this section.  Morrissey v. Welsh Co., 821 F.2d 1294 (8th Cir.).

(1989) Because a wrongful death settlement is for the use and benefit of those who sue or are entitled to sue, and because wrongful death is not a claim or cause of action brought on the part of the injured person, a hospital lien does not attach to the settlement of a wrongful death claim.  American Family Mutual Insurance Company v. Ward, 774 S.W.2d 135 (Mo.banc).

---- end of effective  28 Aug 2005 ----

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