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White-Ahmed v. Booker

Superior Court of Delaware

February 5, 2019

Deatrice White-Ahmed, Plaintiff,
v.
Rochel1e D. Booker, Defendant.

          Submitted: January 16, 2019

          ORDER

          JAN R. JURDEN, PRESIDENT JUDGE

         AND NOW TO WIT, this 5th day of February, 2019, the Court having heard and duly considered the Defendant Rochelle D. Booker's Motion to Dismiss and Plaintiffs response thereto, IT APPEARS THAT:

         1. Plaintiff Deatrice White-Ahmed has sued Rochelle D. Booker ("Booker") claiming she is "partly liable" for the death of Plaintiffs daughter, Whitney White ("White").[1] Booker denies she is in any way responsible for White's death and has filed a Motion to Dismiss the Complaint.[2]

         2. According to Plaintiff, Booker failed to lock the door of the residence where White was staying. White's cell phone was stolen because the door was unlocked. Booker told White that Martin Taylor stole White's phone. When White went to see Martin Taylor to retrieve her phone, Martin Taylor murdered White.[3]

         3. While not expressly stated in the Complaint, Plaintiff alleges a wrongful death claim against Booker.

         4. Pursuant to 10 Del. C. § 3724, an action for wrongful death "shall be for the benefit of the spouse, parent, child, and siblings of the deceased person."[4] Only one action under the subchapter lies in respect to the death of a person.[5] The Wrongful Death statute states, in pertinent part:

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.[6]
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:
(1) Deprivation of the expectation of pecuniary benefits to the beneficiary or beneficiaries that would have resulted from the continued life of the deceased;
(2) Loss of contribution for support;
(3) Loss of parental, marital and household services, including the reasonable cost of providing for the care of minor children;
(4) Reasonable funeral expenses not to exceed $7, 000, or the amount designated in § 5546(a) of Title 29, whichever is greater;
(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 ...

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