Shipley v. Williams – Case Brief Summary (New York)

In Shipley v. Williams, 14 Misc 3d 682, 826 NYS2d 882 (Sup Ct, Richmond County 2006), a brother and sister were both passengers in an automobile accident where they were trapped within the vehicle.

The sister witnessed her brother in tremendous pain, who was suffering from severe injuries, which ultimately resulted in his death.

As a result of witnessing her brother's death while in the "zone of danger," the sister sustained severe emotion distress, which required extensive psychological treatment for which the defendant was held liable.

In Shipley, after reviewing numerous state statutes defining "immediate family" this court found that the term "immediate family" always included siblings and most of them also included grandparents.