Widow/Widower Remarries in Wrongful Death Case

For a variety of reasons, there is often a significant lag time between the time of death and the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit. For better and for worse, life goes on and the widow often remarries.

So the question is, “Should a jury take this into consideration in computing damages?” The short answer, and the human answer, is that they should not. People who have suffered a great loss should not be penalized for moving on with their lives.

What is Maryland law? Maryland law for at least the last 112 years has supported this common sense view. The rule is that a jury should consider the probable duration of the joint lives of the spouse had one not been killed.

Everyone loves to point to the examples where the application of the law leads to a nonsensical result and this happens far too often. But most of the time, the law gets it right. When it does, it does not make the evening news.

One opinion worth reading if you a Maryland malpractice lawyer with this issue is Baltimore Transit Co. v. State, 194 Md. 421 (1950).