An Act concerning wrongful death actions and amending N.J.S.2A:31-4 and N.J.S.2A:31-5.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. N.J.S.2A:31-4 is amended to read as follows:
Persons entitled to amount recovered.
2A:31-4. Persons entitled to amount recovered
The amount recovered in proceedings under this chapter shall be for the exclusive benefit of the persons entitled to take any intestate personal property of the decedent, and in the proportions in which they are entitled to take the same except if there is a surviving spouse of the decedent and one or more surviving descendants of the decedent they shall be entitled to equal proportions for purposes of recovery under this chapter notwithstanding the provisions of Title 3B of the New Jersey Statutes. If any of the persons so entitled in accordance with this section were dependent on the decedent at his death, they shall take the same as though they were sole persons so entitled, in such proportions, as shall be determined by the court without a jury, and as will result in a fair and equitable apportionment of the amount recovered, among them, taking into account in such determination, but not limited necessarily thereby, the age of the dependents, their physical and mental condition, the necessity or desirability of providing them with educational facilities, their financial condition and the availability to them of other means of support, present and future, and any other relevant factors which will contribute to a fair and equitable apportionment of the amount recovered.
2. N.J.S.2A:31-5 is amended to read as follows:
Assessment of damages by jury.
2A:31-5. Assessment of damages by jury.
In every action brought under the provisions of this chapter the jury may give such damages as they shall deem fair and just with reference to the pecuniary injuries resulting from such death, together with the hospital, medical and funeral expenses incurred for the deceased, to the persons entitled to any intestate personal property of the decedent in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.2A:31-4.
3. This act shall take effect immediately and shall be retroactive to February 27, 2005.
Approved January 13, 2008.