Gain v. Carrol Mill Co. An Arbitrary Limit On Bystander Recovery

Daniel L. Keppler, Gain v. Carrol Mill Co. An Arbitrary Limit On Bystander Recovery, Gonz. L. Rev. 225 (1990).

Within the last few decades, tort law has expanded to permit recovery for emotional losses suffered by third parties or bystanders to an accident or injury arising from a defendant’s negligence.’ In permitting such recovery, courts have moved cautiously, carefully drawing legal boundaries that outline the circumstances under which a third party or bystander can recover for emotional losses suffered as a result of an accident victim’s physical injuries. The State of Washington is no exception to this general trend.

 The Washington Supreme Court in Gain v. Carroll Mill Co.” recently refused

to allow recovery for the emotional losses of relatives of an automobile accident victim where the relatives were not present at the accident scene. The Gain decision placed a new limit on bystander recovery as a matter of law. The court also redefined the way in which bystander recovery cases are decided in this state…

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