A.R.S. 12-612 Interpretation

In Summerfield v. Super. Ct. (Riddel), 144 Ariz. 467, 476, 698 P.2d 712, 721 (1985) the court sought to determine whether the definition of a person whose death was compensable under A.R.S. § 12-612 could be expanded to include a viable fetus. 144 Ariz. at 469-70, 698 P.2d at 714-15.

Finding that it could, the court concluded that "common law principle and policy must play a role in the interpretation" of our wrongful death statute. Id. at 473-74, 698 P.2d at 718-19.

But it also cautioned that "special legislative intent may control where the action arises from statute, where the legislature's intent, purpose and policy are clearly expressed." Id. at 474, 698 P.2d at 719.