Loss of Enjoyment of Life and Pain and Suffering May Both Be Compensated
Description South Carolina high court overturned an earlier decision and held that damages may be granted both for pain and suffering and for loss of enjoyment of life; they are different forms of losses that may be compensated individually.
Topic Torts
Key Words Damages; Pain and Suffering; Loss of Enjoyment of Life
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Damages were awarded to plaintiffs for a case involving negligence that caused an auto accident. The damages included both compensation for pain and suffering and compensation for loss of enjoyment of life. The defendant appealed, contending that in South Carolina those two elements were considered one action, not two separate bases for damages. The trial court and court of appeals upheld the damage awards. Defendant appealed to the South Carolina supreme court.
Decision Affirmed. An older decision holding that pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life were one cause of action is overruled. "An award for pain and suffering compensates the injured person for the physical discomfort and the emotional response to the sensation of pain caused by the injury itself. Separate damages are given for mental anguish where the evidence shows, for example, that the injured person suffered shock, fright, emotional upset, and/or humiliation as the result of the defendant's negligence. On the other hand, damages for 'loss of enjoyment of life' compensate for the limitations, resulting from the defendant's negligence, on the injured person's ability to participate in and derive pleasure from the normal activities of daily life, or for the individual's inability to pursue his talents, recreational interests, hobbies, or avocations."
Citation Boan v. Blackwell, 2001 WL 37995 (Sup. Ct., S.C., 2001)

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