Plaintiffs, heirs and representatives of the deceased, filed an action against defendant personal representative of tortfeasor’s estate for damage to their property. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County (California), dismissed the action after the personal representative’s demurrer thereto was sustained. The heirs and representatives of the deceased appealed.
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The complaint alleged that the tortfeasor killed the deceased by deliberately shooting him. The tortfeasor then took his own life. The heirs and representatives of the deceased filed an action for waste and destruction of their property, property rights, and estate. That claim was rejected, and the present action was filed on that claim. The on question was presented whether any of the injury suffered by the heirs and representative because of the tortious killing of their decedent was an injury to property. The court held that wherever a plaintiff sustained an injury to his “estate,” whether in being or expectant, as distinguished from an injury to his person, such injury was an injury to “property.” The court held that the heirs and representatives had therefore stated a cause of action for recovery from the personal representative of tortfeasor’s estate of the material losses sustained. Those losses included the present value of future support from their decedent considering their respective normal life expectancies, but exclusive of any damages for such items as loss of consortium, comfort or society of the decedent.
The court reversed the trial court’s judgment that dismissed the heirs and representative’s action against the personal representative of the tortfeasor’s estate for damage to their property.