489 F.2d 1349 (2nd Cir. 1974), 111, Perry v. Allegheny Airlines, Inc.

Docket Nº:111, 73-1791.
Citation:489 F.2d 1349
Party Name:Rosemarie A. PERRY, as Administratrix of the Estate of Michael Perry, Deceased, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ALLEGHENY AIRLINES, INC., Defendant-Appellant.
Case Date:January 08, 1974
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
 
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Page 1349

489 F.2d 1349 (2nd Cir. 1974)

Rosemarie A. PERRY, as Administratrix of the Estate of Michael Perry, Deceased, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

ALLEGHENY AIRLINES, INC., Defendant-Appellant.

No. 111, 73-1791.

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.

January 8, 1974

Argued Nov. 19, 1973.

Page 1350

Wesley W. Horton, William R. Moller, Hartford, Conn. (Regnier, Moller & Taylor, Hartford, Conn., of counsel), for defendant-appellant.

Lee S. Kreindler, New York City (Melvin I. Friedman, Milton G. Sincoff, Kreindler & Kreindler, New York City, of counsel), for plaintiff-appellee.

Before LUMBARD, MANSFIELD and MULLIGAN, Circuit Judges.

MANSFIELD, Circuit Judge:

In this diversity wrongful death action appellant, Allegheny Airlines, Inc., appeals from a judgment ordering it to pay $369,400 to appellee, Rosemarie A. Perry, administratrix of the estate of Michael Perry, her late husband, who was one of the passengers killed when appellant's plane crashed in fog on June 7, 1971, while approaching the New Haven Airport. We affirm.

Since liability was conceded, the only issue for resolution in the proceedings below was the question of damages, for which Connecticut provides a somewhat different theory and measure of recovery than that authorized in those

Page 1351

jurisdictions which have enacted wrongful death statutes along the lines of Lord Campbell's Act. Under Connecticut's statute recovery is measured by the value to decedent of his life rather than the monetary loss to his next of kin or estate. See Chase v. Fitzgerald, 132 Conn. 461, 45 A.2d 789 (1946).

At the time of his death Michael Perry was an engineer employed as a welding supervisor by the Electric Boat Division of the General Dynamics Corporation. He had been working for General Dynamics for approximately six years and prior to his death was earning approximately $18,600 after several promotions and merit increases. During presentation of the plaintiff's case in chief there was testimony by James Cameron, who had been Michael Perry's immediate supervisor in the Electric Boat Division, and by Vincent Grybauskas, who was Compensation and Management Relations Commissioner for the Division, concerning Perry's salary at the time of his death, his prospects for promotion, and his prospective future earnings both with and without future promotions. An economist, Dr. Richard Martin, then testified that based on the figures introduced through Cameron and Grybauskas and on certain assumptions concerning future rates of inflation and interest, he estimated that the net economic loss (present value) caused by the wrongful death was $535,000. Besides this and other evidence as to net economic loss to the decedent, plaintiff introduced evidence as to Perry's lifestyle (including his numerous family, recreational, social and religious activities), his pain and suffering before death, and his funeral expenses. The jury ultimately returned a verdict of $369,000 for the plaintiff, and appellant's motion to have this verdict set aside as excessive was denied.

At the...

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