In mourning of bereavement damages

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Journal Article

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Field, I. (2014). In mourning of bereavement damages. Torts Law Journal 22, 95-125.

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In most Australian jurisdictions, bereavement is not compensable in an action for wrongful death. Unless such loss can be shown to amount to a recognised psychiatric injury, it is also precluded from recovery in the law of negligence. But why must a plaintiff demonstrate some reaction to the death of a loved one that transcends mere grief before the civil law will compensate his or her loss? Are Australian jurisdictions unusual in precluding such awards, and can this exclusion be rationalised with the compensation of non-pecuniary loss (including bereavement) in other areas of the law?

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