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Damages in Wrongful Death

A Washington King County Judge has found in favor of the parents of a deceased fish processor in a wrongful death case.

Vin Phan was killed in an accident aboard the O’Hara Corporation factory trawler ENTERPRISE in June of 2007. Phan was 28 years old and was living with his parents, for whom he provided services and support.

The Phans had immigrated to the United States in 1993 from Vietnam. In Vietnamese cultural, the oldest son resides with his parents through their death. Under the Death on The High Seas Act, parents of deceased crewmen are limited in the types of damages they can recover. There can be no award for love, affection or destruction of the parent-child relationship. Given proper evidentiary proof, parents are entitled to loss of support and service damages.

After trial, Superior Court Judge Steven Gonzalez awarded Phan’s parents compensation for loss of future support and services for the next 29 years. The total award was $522,362.