California recently passed legislation allowing plaintiffs to recover damages for pre-death pain and suffering until 2025, a change from the previous statute that canceled a defendant’s debts when the plaintiff died. In the article, California finally allows pre-death pain and suffering damages, but it’s set to expire, Peters argues that this change should be made permanent as it increases the potential deterrent impact of lawsuits and prevents defendants from escaping accountability for their misconduct. The amended law also requires plaintiffs to report the damages awarded, which the legislature will use to decide whether to make the provision permanent. Evidentiary issues can be addressed using case law from other states and California cases, and settlement evaluations and trial strategies can be guided by jury trials and verdicts from around the country. Peters contends that the change is both just and feasible and that California is in good company with other US states that allow for pre-death pain and suffering damages.
Walkup Melodia Kelly + Schoenberger (DJ 3-31-23)