(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury case and its proceedings.)
It is also worth noting that situations similar to those described in this medical malpractice case could just as easily occur at any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser Permanente, U.C. Davis Medical Center, Mercy, or Sutter.
CALIFORNIA HAS NOW REJECTED THE “SAVED COST OF NECESSITIES” ARGUMENT; THE “LOST YEARS” AWARD SHOULD NOT BE REDUCED BY THE “SAVED COST OF NECESSITIES”
For years, the law on the “lost years” exception to periodic payments judgments is essentially controlled by two (2) California Cases, Fein and Hurlbut. As noted above, these cases failed to place any limitation or restrictions upon this exception, even though such issue was squarely before the court on both occasions. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.
Now in August 1999, the First District has ruled on the issue of saved costs of necessities. In Overly v. Ingalls Shipbuilding, Inc. (1999) 74 Cal.App.4th 164, the defense argued that even if [Plaintiff] was entitled to damages for the loss of his future economic benefits [the ‘lost years’ damages], the future economic damage award should have been reduced to account for the [Plaintiffs’] personal consumption during the lost years. The defense “conceding that there is no California authority on point,” argued “policy.” (Id. at p. 174.)
Both the trial court and the Court of Appeal rejected the policy argument:
Nevertheless, the majority view is that no deduction is made for the injured part’s expected living expenses during the lost years. (Id. at p. 175.) The First District elaborated:
Furst, as a general matter, applying a personal consumption deduction in this context would introduce undesirable elements of speculation and uncertainty into an already difficult calculation. For example, it is difficult to conceive how a defendant could prove the use that an injured plaintiff would have made of lost years earnings had his life expectancy not been cut short. It is equally hard for us to imagine how a defendant would distinguish the injured party’s personal consumption from the consumption of dependents living with that injured party. (Overly, supra, 74 Cal.App.4th at p. 175.) (See Part 7 of 8.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.