In Pub. Adm'r of Kings Cty. v. U.S. Fleet Leasing, Inc., 159 A.D.2d 331, 552 N.Y.S.2d 608 (1st Dep't 1990), the First Department refused to allow a father to recover damages resulting from the death of his adult son.
The court held that because their relationship was attenuated (they had only spoken twice in the previous six years and the father did not learn of the decedent's death until two years later), it could not be assumed that the decedent would have supported his father by his own free will.
The Court held:
Whether an estate beneficiary may reasonably expect to sustain pecuniary loss as a result of the decedent's death . . . it is, of course, relevant whether the decedent would have been legally obligated to support the beneficiary and, if not, whether there is any evidence that the decedent would have volunteered to do so. (Id. at 331.)