ARS 12-613 Example Case

In Mullen v. Posada Del Sol Health Care Center, 169 Ariz. 399, 400, 819 P.2d 985, 986 (App. 1991), a mother sought wrongful death damages based on how her son was treated prior to his death in a nursing home. The Court turned to the language of 12-613 limiting damages to "the injury resulting from the death." Id. The Court noted that "within the meaning of the statute, the death is the source of the injury, not the negligent act." Id. In Girouard v. Skyline Steel, Inc., 215 Ariz. 126, 127-28,3-7, 158 P.3d 255, 256-57 (App. 2007) the decedent was pinned in a car and burned to death as a result of the defendant's acts. Id. The Court clarified Mullen to ensure that the manner of death, which the statutory beneficiaries claimed increased their own injury "resulting from the death," may be considered. Id. at 129-33,10-23, 158 P.3d at 258-62. The Court made it plain, however, that a statutory beneficiary could not recover for pain and suffering experienced by the decedent: While evidence of the manner of death is relevant to mental anguish suffered by the survivor, we reiterate that compensation in a wrongful death action is limited to "injury resulting from the death." Accordingly, . . . a survivor may not recover for mental anguish resulting from the negligent acts of the defendant prior to the decedent's death, and such evidence is not relevant to the issue of damages. Nor may a survivor recover for mental anguish resulting from actual or perceived pain and suffering experienced by the decedent during the time leading up to death because such period of time precedes the death of the decedent. Id. at 131,19, 158 P.3d at 261.