Mullen v. Posada Del Sol Health Care Center
In Mullen v. Posada Del Sol Health Care Center, 169 Ariz. 399, 819 P.2d 985 (App. 1991), the issue was whether a wrongful death plaintiff's testimony concerning the negligent care her decedent son received while he was alive was admissible to determine damages in her wrongful death claim. 169 Ariz. at 399, 819 P.2d at 985.
As the defendant health care facility had admitted liability prior to trial, the only issue at trial was the measure of damages. Id. at 400, 819 P.2d at 986.
The plaintiff argued that the testimony was relevant because her grief partially involved guilt for not having transferred her son to another care facility before he died. Id.
The Court held that the testimony was not admissible to determine wrongful death damages because they pertained to her injuries resulting from prior negligent acts, rather than her injuries resulting from the death. Id.
Thus, the problematic alleged injury in that case was grief resulting from the event of the defendant's negligence prior to the death, rather than the event of the decedent's death. See 169 Ariz. at 400, 819 P.2d at 986.