Legg v. Jones

Legg v. Jones, 126 W. Va. 757, 30 S.E.2d 76 (1944), concerned a sixteen- year-old healthy, industrious, and energetic youth who was struck and killed by an automobile while delivering newspapers in the early morning. At trial, the jury awarded damages in the amount of $ 1000 against the driver of the automobile, and the plaintiff appealed alleging, inter alia, that the verdict was so inadequate as to show bias, fraud, partiality, corruption, and prejudice. The Court recognized a distinction between wrongful death and other tort actions, stating that "in actions to recover for death by wrongful act, neglect, or default under the statute, it is the peculiar right, as well as the duty, of the jury to fix the amount of recovery. The right is conferred and the duty imposed by the statute which gives the right of action." Id., 126 W. Va. at 762, 30 S.E.2d at 79.