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Zone of Danger Rule Allows Grandparents to Recover Emotional Damages From Witnessing Their Grandchild’s Death

Zone of Danger Rule Allows Grandparents to Recover Emotional Damages From Witnessing Their Grandchild’s Death

The ABA Journal reports that courts in New York consider grandparents, bystanders under the zone of danger rule, to recover emotional emotion damages from witnessing their immediate family member's death. Here, grandchild is grandparents' immediate family member under the zone of danger rule.

The court noted that grandparents in New York are now entitled to seek visitation with their grandchildren and even custody in some circumstances. Given legislative recognition of the special status of grandparents, it is “more than warranted” to include grandparents as immediate family under the tort rule, the court said.

Unlike the broad scope of zone of danger rule in CA, NY requires the witness(es) having a strong loving and personal bond with the person they perceived death unless witnesses themselves were at risk of immediate and serious physical harm from the defendant’s conduct.

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