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Wrongful Death - Illegitimacy
"He may even, like Shakespeare's Edmund, have spent his life contriving treachery against his family."
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Wrongful Death - Illegitimacy

Justice Douglas Opinion
May 20, 1968
Seal Of The Supreme Court
Excerpt:

This suit was brought in the federal district court under the head of diversity jurisdiction to recover for a wrongful death suffered in an automobile accident in Louisiana. The plaintiff, a Texas domiciliary, was the mother of the victim, her illegitimate son.

... According to this scheme, a grown man may sue for the wrongful death of parents he did not love, (3) even if the death relieves him of a great economic burden or entitles him to a large inheritance. But an employee who loses a job because of the death of his employer has no cause of action, and a minor child cared for by neighbors or relatives "as if he were their own son" does not therefore have a right to sue for their death.

Footnote 3: He may even, like Shakespeare's Edmund, have spent his life contriving treachery against his family. Supposing that the Bard had any views on the law of legitimacy, they might more easily be discerned from Edmund's character than from the words he utters in defense of the only thing he cares for, himself.


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