House Bill 1873 (HB1873), introduced by Representative Tim Ormsby (D-Spokane) has been passed by the Washington House of Representatives and is currently in front of the Washington State Senate, changes the requirements for recoveries of a wrongful death for parents. The current law states that a parent can not recover damages for wrongful death of a child once that child turns 18 unless the parent can prove that they are economically dependent on that child. HB 1873 seeks to change that law to apply to those that are 18 and over who are not married and do not have children.
Why does this law need to be changed? The best way to tell you is by anecdote. Say for example, a 19 year-old-son is attending a University and is killed in a hazing incident in his fraternity. With the current law, the parent can not sue the fraternity or the University for wrongful death. The fraternity or University cannot be held fully liable for the death of a precious child and the parents can not receive damages for the loss of their child.
As we see it, HB1873 puts Washington State Law on the par with 47 other states in the nation. Parents should be able to hold wrongdoers responsible for the death of their child because of negligence. Check the Washington Votes website for the full text of the bill.
Washington State has a wrongful death statute, which requires the knowledge of a skilled lawyer to successfully navigate. Wrongful death cases are usually brought on behalf of the deceased by the surviving spouse, child or parent. With the help of The Farber Law Group, a Washington firm experienced and knowledgeable in handling wrongful death cases, you may be able to recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. Contact us today for a free case consultation.