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Delaware Laws | Title 10 Courts and Judicial Procedures
CHAPTER 37. SURVIVAL OF ACTIONS AND CAUSES OF ACTION; WRONGFUL DEATH ACTIONS
Subchapter II. Wrongful Death Actions

(4) "Sibling" means brothers and sisters of the whole and half blood or by order of adoption. (3583)

(5) "Wrongful act" means an act, neglect or default including a felonious act which would have entitled the party injured to maintain an action and recover damages if death had not ensued. (3584)

(63 Del. Laws, c. 256, Sec. 4; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, Sec. 1; 72 Del. Laws, c. 47, Sec. 1.) (3585)

(a) An action may be maintained against a person whose wrongful act causes the death of another. (3586)

(b) If the death of a person was caused by a wrongful act, neglect or default of a vessel, an action in rem may be maintained against the vessel. (3587)

(c) If a person whose wrongful act caused the death of another dies before an action under this section is commenced, the action may be maintained against a personal representative. (3588)

(63 Del. Laws, c. 256, Sec. 4; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, Sec. 1.) (3589)

Repealed by 71 Del. Laws, c. 265, Sec. 1, eff. Apr. 20, 1998. (3590)

(a) An action under this subchapter shall be for the benefit of the spouse, parent, child and siblings of the deceased person. (3591)

(b) If there are no persons who qualify under subsection (a) of this section, an action shall be for the benefit of any person related to the deceased person by blood or marriage. (3592)

(c) In an action under this subchapter, damages may be awarded to the beneficiaries proportioned to the injury resulting from the wrongful death. The amount recovered shall be divided among the beneficiaries in shares directed by the verdict. (3593)

(d) In fixing the amount of damages to be awarded under this subchapter, the court or jury shall consider all the facts and circumstances and from them fix the award at such sum as will fairly compensate for the injury resulting from the death. In determining the amount of the award the court or jury may consider the following: (3594)

(1) Deprivation of the expectation of pecuniary benefits to the beneficiary or beneficiaries that would have resulted from the continued life of the deceased; (3595)

(2) Loss of contributions for support; (3596)

(3) Loss of parental, marital and household services, including the reasonable cost of providing for the care of minor children; (3597)

(4) Reasonable funeral expenses not to exceed $7,000, or the amount designated in Sec. 5546(a) of Title 29, whichever is greater; (3598)

(5) Mental anguish resulting from such death to the surviving spouse and next-of-kin of such deceased person. However, when mental anguish is claimed as a measure of damages under this subchapter, such claim for mental anguish will be applicable only to the surviving spouse, children and persons to whom the deceased stood in loco parentis at the time of the injury which caused the death of the deceased, parents and persons standing in loco parentis to the deceased at the time of the injury which caused the death of the deceased (if there is no surviving spouse, children or persons to whom the deceased stood in loco parentis ), and siblings (if there is no surviving spouse, children, persons to whom the deceased stood in loco parentis at the time of the injury, parents or persons standing in loco parentis to the deceased at the time of the injury which caused the death of the deceased). (3599)

(e) Only 1 action under the subchapter lies in respect to the death of a person. (3600)

(f) For the purposes of this section, a person born to parents who have not participated in a marriage ceremony with each other is considered to be the child of the mother. The person is considered to be the child of the other parent only if the father: (3601)

(1) Has been judicially determined to be the father; or (3602)

(2) Prior to the death of the child: (3603)

a. Has acknowledged himself, in writing, to be the father; or (3604)

b. Has openly and notoriously recognized the person to be his child; or (3605)

c. Has subsequently married the mother and has acknowledged himself, orally or in writing, to be the father. (3606)

(63 Del. Laws, c. 256, Sec. 4; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, Sec. 1; 72 Del. Laws, c. 47, Sec.Sec. 2, 3; 75 Del. Laws, c. 266, Sec. 1.) (3607)

The purpose of this subchapter is to permit the recovery of damages not limited to pecuniary losses by persons injured as the result of the death of another person. (3608)

(63 Del. Laws, c. 256, Sec. 4.) (3609)

Courts and Judicial Procedure Procedure (3610)

CHAPTER 39. PLEADING AND PRACTICE (3611)(Text)

Sec. 3901. Affidavits of defense; judgments by default on written instruments; opening judgments. (3612)(Text)

(a) In all actions upon bills, notes, bonds or other instruments of writing for the payment of money or for the recovery of book accounts, on foreign judgments, and in all actions of scire facias on recognizances, judgments or mortgages, the plaintiff may specifically require the defendant or defendants to answer any or all allegations of the complaint by an affidavit setting forth the specific nature and character of any defense and the factual basis therefor, by the specific notation upon the face of the complaint that those allegations must be answered by affidavits. (3613)

(b) If defense is to a part only of the cause of action, the defendant, or if there be more than 1, any 1 or more of them shall, in such affidavit, specify the sum which the defendant or they admits or admit to be due, and judgment shall be entered for the plaintiff at the plaintiff's election for the sum acknowledged to be due. (3614)

(c) A defendant need not file an affidavit to answer any allegation, whether or not designated pursuant to this section, unless the plaintiff or plaintiffs files with the complaint a copy of the instrument of writing, book entries or claims, or, in case of a scire facias, a certified abstract or transcript of the judgment, mortgage or recognizance, and in case of a suit on a foreign judgment a copy of the judgment, certified to under 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1738. (3615)

(d) If the plaintiff or plaintiffs complies with this section, and the defendant or defendants fails to respond to the designated allegations by affidavit filed with the answer or answers, the designated allegations will be deemed admitted, and default judgment may be entered thereon, in the discretion of the Court and upon motion by the plaintiff. (3616)

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