Hallett v. Town of Wrentham
499 N.E.2d 1189 (Cite as: 398 Mass. 550, 499 N.E.2d 1189)
Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Norfolk.
Karen J. HALLETT, administratrix, et al. [FN1] FN1. Lisa Marie Hallett, William Robert Hallett and Jacqueline Diane Hallett, by their mother and next friend, Karen Hallett.
TOWN OF WRENTHAM.
Argued Sept. 11, 1986.
Decided Nov. 13, 1986.
Widow and administratrix of decedent killed in collision with town sanding truck driven by town employee filed wrongful death action against town, and subsequently amended complaint to add three children of deceased as separate plaintiffs. The jury in the Norfolk Superior Court, George N. Hurd, Jr., J., found town employee 70% negligent and decedent 30% negligent, and awarded damages of $575,000 for lost future income, $25,000 for wife's loss of consortium, and $50,000 for each of three children's loss of parental society. On town's motion that judgment be entered for $100,000 and that three children's awards be dismissed, judge combined wife's consortium award with lost income award and reduced it to $100,000 and ordered award of $50,000 for each child. Both parties appealed. The Supreme Judicial Court, Hennessey, C.J., held that: (1) children were not entitled to separate recoveries outside wrongful death statute for loss of parental society; (2) $100,000 cap on wrongful death recovery applied to sum of recoveries; (3) judge's remarks to jury after expert witness testimony were not reversible error; and (4) judge's refusal to give "emergency" instruction as part of charge on negligence was not improper.
Reversed in part, affirmed in part, and remanded.
Leonard F. Zandrow, Jr. (Robert L. Farrell and Richard L. Neumeier, Boston, with him), for defendant.
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