Brittany Noel Nelson, et al v. Charles W. Myres, et al.

Brittany Noel Nelson, et al v. Charles W. Myres, et al.
M2015-01857-SC-R11-CV

The primary issue in this appeal is whether a surviving spouse maintains priority to file a wrongful death action when the decedent’s child has also filed a wrongful death action in which the child alleges that the surviving spouse negligently caused the decedent’s death. The trial court dismissed the daughter’s wrongful death complaint, but the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court, ruling that under the circumstances presented in this case, the surviving spouse was disqualified from filing the wrongful death action. Because the wrongful death statutes do not include an exception to the spousal priority rule and because the surviving spouse did not waive his right to file the wrongful death action, we hold that the trial court properly dismissed the daughter’s wrongful death action. The judgment of the Court of Appeals is reversed and the cause remanded to the trial court. 

Authoring Judge: 
Judge Roger A. Page
Originating Judge: 
Judge Joe Thompson
Date Filed: 
Monday, March 5, 2018