The Nebraska Supreme Court in Selders v. Armentrout overturned approximately forty years of decisional law, governing the damages recoverable for the death of a minor child under Nebraska's wrongful death statutes. It seems safe to assume that in allowing an action for the death of a minor child, the legislature intended that there should be some recovery. The decision of the Nebraska Supreme Court in Selders is statutorily permissible. It is desirable as it will allow juries to fulfill the legislative intent without resort to legal fictions. Although allowing recovery for the lost society, comfort, and companionship of a minor child may, to some extent, be an attempt to compensate an emotional loss monetarily, past cases show that juries have been doing so for some time without guidance as to computation. With this decision, the Nebraska Supreme Court joins a growing number of other state courts which have recognized that the loss of a child is only incidentally, at best, a pecuniary loss. Selders recognizes that if a parent is to be compensated for what he or she has lost, as the legislature has intended, then elements of damage other than those strictly monetary must be included.
Arthur R. Langvardt,
Damages—Recovery for Child’s Wrongful Death: Selders v. Armentrout, 190 Neb. 275, 207 N.W.2d 686 (1973),
52 Neb. L. Rev. 553
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