MEASURE OF DAMAGES FOR THE WRONGFUL DEATH OF A CHILD
AbstractIn St. Lawrence v. Lett the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that damages may only be awarded in fatal accident claims if those damages are "capable of a pecuniary estimate". The purpose of this paper is to argue that the value which parents place upon a child is capable of pecuniary estimate and, therefore, that (non-dependent) parents may be able to mount a successful claim for damages following the death of a child. This argument is based upon recent theories of fertility which hold that couples choose the numbers of children which they will bear based upon comparisons of the "costs" and "benefits" which children will bring to them. Estimates are made of the net losses of benefits which will arise if a child is killed, variously, on its sixth, twelfth, or eighteenth birthday.
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