Judgments: Companionship & Compensation

In the thousands of damage suits that were settled in U.S. courts last week, the average award to plaintiffs by judge and jury was less than $5,000. Four notable exceptions:

> In Detroit, Michigan's Supreme Court affirmed a circuit court's award of $26,500 for "loss of society and companionship" to the parents of Linda Kay Hopkins, a Michigan State cheerleader killed at 21 in an auto collision five years ago. In rejecting the defendant's pleas that Linda's age made her independent, that her parents' means (they own three thriving Saginaw businesses) entitled them...

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