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Riggs v. Ga.-Pac. LLC, 2015 UT 17 (Jan. 30, 2015) 

Jan 30, 2015

Thirteen days after a jury awarded her $5.26 million in damages for mesothelioma, the plaintiff died. Her estate then brought wrongful death claims under the same theories of negligence, strict product liability, and failure to warn. Defendants moved to dismiss on the grounds that plaintiff’s personal injury verdict precluded her estate’s wrongful death claim. In this interlocutory appeal from the denial of the motion, the Utah Supreme Court held the personal injury judgment does not preclude a wrongful death suit based on clear statutory language that a personal injury claim and a wrongful death claim aim to compensate for two distinct types of losses. The court was careful to “emphasize that double recovery is impermissible.”