Stanley B. Kent


It is an ancient truth that the tort law is amoral in the sense that the degree of culpability of the defendant, assuming, of course, there is any culpability at all, is not a factor in determining damages. Nowhere is this better illustrated than in wrongful death cases where the jury is admonished to fix damages solely on the basis of the "pecuniary injury" that the survivors suffered as the result of the death.' Although this instruction represents the application to death cases of the compensation theory that is so familiar in ordinary injury cases, it seems almost inhumane in the context of death.