Should parents be allowed to recover pain & suffering for the loss of a child?
Thankfully, many jurisdictions answer that question affirmatively. Here's a little op-ed explaining the evolution of the law in Texas:
It has been only a week since two boys, one 4 and one 10, were crushed to death and a third injured when a staircase collapsed on top of them at their apartment building in southwest Houston.
Already a lawsuit has been filed on behalf of one of the families. The haste is unseemly even to some plaintiff's lawyers, but the lawyers who filed the suit claimed they needed to in order to keep the apartment owners from repairing the stairwell and thereby destroying evidence.
It wasn't so long ago that lawyers wouldn't have been rushing to sign up a case like this.
To put it brutally — as did the law in Texas and many other states — dead children weren't worth very much.
Fear of successful lawsuits is a very useful deterrent for egregiously bad maintenance by landlords. [And a deterrent that "reformers" want to take away. - JCL]