John G. Culhane


This Article discusses the restrictions on the class of eligible beneficiaries under most wrongful death statutes and considers recent legislative and judicial initiatives that have begun to change these laws to reflect reality. The Article analyzes the Victim Compensation Fund, passed in response to the events of September 11, 2001 as an example of the ability of legislative and regulatory rules to define eligibility for flexible recovery. The Article goes on to discuss recent legislative and judicial developments involving the torts of negligent infliction of emotional distress and loss of consortium, emphasizing that courts and legislatures are increasingly willing to recognize the reality of people's relationships outside of marriage. The Article concludes by highlighting observations that provide some explanation for the curious absence of same-sex couples from the decisional law.

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