McMichael v. McMichael

In McMichael v. McMichael, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court gave quality primers on the difference between a survival action and a wrongful death action as well as the difference between economic and non-economic damages. In this wrongful death and survival action, the jury awarded the decedent’s surviving spouse zero dollars in damages — economic and non-economic — on her wrongful death claim. The Court held that, given the paucity of evidence as to economic damages, the jury’s determination as to economic damages was acceptable. But given the couple’s seemingly long and happy marriage, the jury’s determination of zero dollars for non-economic damages had to be reversed. Beyond the basic subject matter of the case, the Court made an interesting finding regarding a challenge to the wife’s credibility as a whole. Though the defendant argued that the wife was wholly incredible, the Court ruled that the jury must accept her uncontroverted testimony. So, even an incredible witness must be believed sometime, perhaps?

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