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Childs v. United States

United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia
923 F. Supp. 1570 (1996)


Facts

Debra Gordon and Debra’s unborn child, General Gordon, were killed in a car accident caused by a United States Postal Service truck. Debra’s mother, Rosa Reese, and others (plaintiffs) sued the United States government (defendant) for Debra’s and General’s wrongful deaths under the Federal Tort Claims Act. Debra was 33 years old at the time of her death. She had attended college but did not graduate. She began working at a grocery store after leaving college and had become produce manager. She had worked at the store for 13 years and was very good at her job. She made $24,196 the year before her death. Debra was very close with her family and was generally regarded as the reason the large family stayed so close. Debra was divorced and had not revealed the identity of General’s father prior to her death. Both parties presented expert testimony regarding the full value of the lives of Debra and General. Reese’s expert witness estimated that the value of Debra’s future earnings was $1,147,694. The government’s expert witness estimated that the value of Debra’s future earnings was $760,043. The expert then reduced that amount by Debra’s estimated personal taxes, expenses, and consumption had she lived, to come to a total economic value of $398,142.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Nangle, J.)

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