アメリカ不法行為法におけるHEDOIC DAMAGES理論 <研究報告>
Shiho-JPrivLaw_55_256.pdf 352 KB
Hedonic Damages on Wrongful Death Cases in the United States <Reports>
The purpose of this paper is that we will introduce and examine recent discussions on hedonic damages in the U. S. wrongful death cases, and try to clear whether hedonic damages are applicable to wrongful death cases in Japan.
"Hedonic damages" compensate an individual for the loss of life and loss of pleasures of living. They encompass the larger value of life including the economic, moral, and philosophical value. This term was used in Sherrod v. Berry (1985), which was case to authorize an award of hedonic damages.
We exmine cases and articles after Sherrod v. Berry. The question of whether an individual may recover hedonic damages in wrongful death actions is a relatively new issue, and the courts are not in agreement, and artciles are not either. So frankly speaking, hedonic damages might not have great influences on recovery for wrongful death yet.
However, we consider that hedonic damages are fit to value the loss of life in wrongful death. Because human being lives not to work, but to enjoy his life, hedonic value is regarded as value of life itself.
There are three basic models in evaluating the hedonic value. The willingness to accept model, the willingness to pay model, and the questionaire method. One of their empirical studies suggest that the hedonic value of life is from three to thirty times the present value of lost future earnings. It is noteworthy that they all find the value of life to be greater than lifetime future earnings.
Hedonic damages are highly significant for tort law in Japan. In applying hedonic damages in our wrongful death cases, we will appeal to assign a uniform awards for hedonic damages. Hedonic damages will improve the lower awards in traffic accidents and environmental pollution.