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Wrongful Death cases that have reached the Supreme Court of Washington State

Wood v. Dunlop, 83 Wn.2d 719, 521 P.2d 1177 (1974)

  • A release and settlement authorized by personal representative of decedent’s estate does not bind a minor’s beneficiary action for wrongful death on behalf of decedent’s minor child unless independent guardian has been appointed for child and court has approved the settlement. 

West v. Zeibell, 87 Wn. 2d 198, 550 P.2d 522, (1976)

  • Parents are barred for the wrongful death of their minor child, who was a workman within the meaning of the Act at the time of death, under Washington Workmen’s Compensation Act. This act does not deprive the parents of due process or equal protection. 

Klossner v. San Juan County, 93 Wn.2d 42, 605 P.2d 330, (1980)

  • Under the wrongful death and survival statutes in Washington State, a decedent’s unadopted stepchildren are not beneficiaries. 

Walton v. Absher Const. Co., Inc., 101 Wn.2d 238, 676 P.2d 1002, (1984)

  • If a beneficiary exists, damages for deceased’s pain and suffering between time of injury and time of death are recoverable under special survival statute if injury caused death. 

Huntington v. Samaritan Hospital, 101 Wn.2d 466, 680 P.2d 58 (1984)

  • The statute of limitations in a wrongful death case is not tolled during minority of statutory benefits. 

Guard v. Jackson, 132 Wash.2d 660, 940 P.2d 642 (1997)

  • The statute requiring a parent to have contributed regularly to financial support of child born out of wedlock before the parent can join in a wrongful death action for death of child, without placing such contribution requirement onto the other parent, violates Washington’s Equal Rights Amendment. 

Otani ex rel. Shigaki v. Broudy, 151 Wash.2d 750, 92 R.3d 192 (2004)

  • Post death damages are not recoverable to the estate for decedent’s loss of enjoyment of life under Washington’s survival statutes. 

Philippides v. Bernard, 101 Wn.2d 376, 88 P.3d 939 (2004)

  • Parents of adult child are not permitted to recover damages for loss of consortium when parents were not financially dependent on child under RCW 4.24.010, the child injury/death statute.

Atchinson v. Great Western Malting Co.,  161 Wn.2d 372, 378, 166 P.3d 662 (2007)

  • A child’s minority could not toll the three-year limitations period applicable to action.