Jury Awards $2 Million in Wrongful Death Case

A Vista jury awarded $2 million to the widow of a man killed when his golf cart plunged down a steep cliff at Pala Mesa Resort and on to the freeway. The total award was reduced to $1.4 million when the jury found that the deceased golfer was 30% responsible for the accident.

The golfer, 65-year-old Edwin Payne, was in the middle of a round of golf on May 22, 2007 when he lost control of his golf cart, jumped a curb, and fell down an 80 foot cliff and on to Old Highway 395. Payne’s attorney alleged that the resort was negligent in the maintenance of its property, and that the negligence caused Payne’s death. The jury agreed.

In a wrongful death case, where sufficient proof is made, the plaintiff, here the wife, is entitled to both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are typically the lost of financial support, and non-economic are the loss of love, society, companionship, etc. The impact caused by the death. The jury awarded Mrs. Payne $483,426 in economic damages, and $1.5 million in non-economic, then the overall was reduced by 30%.

Source: North County Times

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