§78.3 Distribution of Proceeds
The Case: Kline v. Eyrich, 69 S.W.3d 197 (Tenn. 2002).
The Basic Facts: Plaintiffs were the wife and children of a man killed in a motorcycle accident who brought a wrongful death suit against the Defendant motorist. The children and wife initially filed separate suits, but the trial court then consolidated the cases, giving the wife the authority to prosecute the singular wrongful death action.
The Bottom Line:
- "FN3. Proceeds of a wrongfuldeath action aredistributed according to the laws of intestatesuccession.See Foster v. Jeffers, [813 S.W.2d 449, 452 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1991)] ( '[I]t is the law in Tennessee that the proceeds from a wrongfuldeath action become personal property of the deceased and the court will look to the statutes on distributionof personalty as a guide [to distributing those proceeds ].' (citing Anderson v. Anderson, 211 Tenn. 566, 366 S.W.2d 755 (1963))." 69 S.W.3d at 201.