Wrongful death law is arcane and immoral, and it needs to change.
That is what I told the Washington State House Judiciary Committee yesterday. Washington’s wrongful death laws are some of the worst in the country. There is generally no wrongful death claim for the death of an unmarried adult without children, so for example, most young people just starting out their lives. You could raise a child for 17 years and 364 days, and if she dies on her 18th birthday, your loss as a parent does not count under the law unless you were financially dependent on her. If she suffered for days before ultimately dying, her suffering does not count under the law unless you were financially dependent on her. It is 2018 and we are using laws from the 1800s.
On Thursday, many brave parents came forward to tell their stories of deep and unnatural loss–burying a child. What caused them to suffer more was Washington’s unnatural laws, which devalue the lives of primarily young adults and immigrants–the law requires not only that parents are dependent on the adult child, but that parents live in Washington.
When it is cheaper to kill than to injure young people, the law is wrong. More to come on this.