What is Pecuniary Loss – Wrongful Death Claims
Pecuniary Loss is an element of the wrongful death jury injuries (JIGs) and is not defined by statute, but through caselaw as the loss of “advice, counsel and loss of companionship.”
According to Minnesota Statutes Annotated: the statute does not define pecuniary loss. [The court has ruled in the past however], that pecuniary loss includes loss of “advice, counsel, and loss of companionship.” Jones v. Fisher, 309 N.W.2d 726, 730 (Minn.1981); see also Gravley v. Sea Gull Marine, Inc., 269 N.W.2d 896, 901 (Minn.1978) (noting that pecuniary loss includes “loss of advice, comfort, assistance, and protection”).
Minnesota jury instructions state that “[p]ecuniary loss is financial loss, but also includes loss of counsel, guidance and aid.” 4 Minn. Dist. Judges Ass’n, Minnesota Practice-Jury Instruction Guides, Civil, CIVJIG 45.45 (5th ed.2006).“Bodily injury” in the context of the Civil Damages Act has the same meaning as in the general personal injury context. See 4 Minn. Dist. Judges Ass’n, Minnesota Practice-Jury Instruction Guides, Civil, CIVJIG 45.55 (5th ed.2006). Bodily injury damages include compensation for pain, disability, disfigurement, embarrassment, and emotional distress. 4A Minn. Dist. Judges Ass’n, Minnesota Practice-Jury Instruction Guides, Civil, CIVJIG 91.10 (5th ed.2006).
Bodily injury damages are not recoverable where, as here, death occurs as a result of the injuries suffered, and plaintiffs do not seek such damages. The only damages claimed by the Bruas in this case are pecuniary loss and property damage.“Means of support” refers to financial support that, but for the accident, would have been provided to the plaintiff by the injured or deceased person. See 4 Minn. Dist. Judges Ass’n, Minnesota Practice-Jury Instruction Guides, Civil, CIVJIG 45.45 (“A person’s means of support has been damaged when the usual source of support has been [ (and)(or) will be] lost or reduced.”). The Bruas initially sought damages for loss of means of support, but ultimately dropped those claims.
Damages under the wrongful death statute are measured by “pecuniary loss resulting from the death” and include advice, counsel, and loss of companionship. See, e. g., Cummins v. Rachner,257 N.W.2d 808, 814 (Minn.1977). See, Jones v Fisher
If a loved one has suffered from an untimely death due to the neglect of a health care professional or facility, contact Attorney Kenneth L. LaBore for a free consultation by email at KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com or by phone at 612-743-9048 or toll free at 1-888-452-6589.