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Campbell v. Keystone Aerial Surveys, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
138 F.3d 996 (1998)


While working for Keystone Aerial Surveys Inc. (Keystone) (defendant), Thomas Campbell and pilot Steve Fish were killed in a plane crash. Campbell’s widow and five children (Campbell’s family) (plaintiffs) filed a wrongful-death action against Keystone. Campbell’s family attempted to admit evidence of the suicide of Campbell’s oldest son, Thomas. Although Thomas’s estate had not filed its own claim, Campbell’s family argued that Thomas’s suicide showed how much distress Campbell’s death had caused. Campbell’s family also attempted to admit photos of Campbell’s body showing that he had been decapitated and badly burned, which were photos Campbell’s wife and one of his daughters had seen. The court ruled that the suicide of Campbell’s oldest son and photos of Campbell’s body were inadmissible, as their potential for prejudice outweighed their probative value. Campbell’s family appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Benavides, J.)

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