Ride the Ducks Deaths Help Spur Change to Washington's Archaic Wrongful Death Laws

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I’ve written about this over and over again, and it finally happened. In a nutshell, Washington was one of only three states to not honor the lives of (mainly) young adults with no spouse or children. Their lives were worth the bare, cold math of what they would’ve earned minus what they would’ve spent. The ultimate loss by the parent of an adult child was not just not honored as damages, but irrelevant. Suffering before death? Meaningless.

After public outrage over unfairness to the Ride the Ducks victims, today Washington’s Legislature amended wrongful death laws. See more on the past and present of the law. Almost all of the heavy lifting for the bill’s passage was all done by the Washington State Association for Justice (WSAJ) and its amazing team, together with its coalition of parents who lost children, and community members. You can see more about this amazing coalition here at WSAJ’s Facebook page.

For non-legal geeks out there let me just put it this way—this is a really, really big deal. It has been an obvious stain on our civil justice system for 100 years and every year until now the effort to correct it has failed, despite tireless efforts of WSAJ, concerned citizens, and the legal community.