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Compania Dominicana de Aviacion v. Knapp

Florida District Court of Appeal
251 So. 2d 18 (1971)


Clifford Knapp, a 15-year-old man, worked for an auto-body shop owned by his father, Charles Knapp (plaintiff). An airplane owned and operated by Compania Dominicana de Aviacion (the Company) (defendant) crashed into the shop, killing Clifford. Clifford was talking on the phone with his mother, Ethyle Knapp, when the crash occurred. Charles was outside the shop and witnessed the crash. Charles brought a wrongful-death suit against the Company. Clifford was a good young man who was about to enter high school. The Knapps were a close-knit family and were devastated by Clifford’s death. Ethyle suffered from depression as a result of the death. At trial, a psychiatrist, the Knapps’s family doctor, and the Knapps’s friends testified about the anguish the Knapps had suffered after Clifford’s death. The jury found in favor of Charles and awarded him $1,800,000 for Clifford’s loss of services and pain and suffering. The trial judge approved the award of damages. The Company appealed, arguing that the award amount was excessive.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

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