New California Law Expands Non-Economic Damages in January 2022

Defense Litigation Insider
October 07, 2021

A new California law that goes into effect in January 2022 allows damages for a decedent’s pain, suffering, or disfigurement to be recovered in an action brought by the decedent’s personal representative or successor in interest after a plaintiff’s wrongful death. MG+M partner Abby Adams wrote a post for MG+M’s Defense Litigation Insider blog that explains the new law (Senate Bill 447) approved by Gov. Newsom on Oct. 1. In her post, Adams notes that prior to Senate Bill 447, California law limited the damages to the loss or damage that the decedent sustained or incurred before death, including any penalties or punitive or exemplary damages that the decedent would have been entitled to recover had the decedent lived.
Read more about the enactment of Senate Bill 447 on the Defense Litigation Insider blog here. An earlier blog post about Senate Bill 447 by Abby Adams, Jenn Cormier, Berenice Quirino and Oviya Sivasangary offers additional context and notes that the bill was preceded by lobbying from interest groups primarily consisting of plaintiff attorneys, who stand to benefit from the new law.

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