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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 170881 Find in a Library
Title: Strategies for Recovery in Domestic Violence Tort Cases
Journal: Trial  Volume:33  Issue:8  Dated:(August 1997)  Pages:26-28,30-31
Author(s): D T Austern
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 5
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Continuing interest in domestic violence has resulted from recent high-profile cases, such as the O.J. Simpson criminal and civil cases, and from statistics indicating 6 of every 10 married couples experience violence at some point during the marriage.
Abstract: One study reports violence is the leading cause of injury to women between 15 and 44 years of age. Causes of action available to domestic violence victims include wrongful death, assault and battery, defamation, false imprisonment, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, intentional interference with child custody, and tortious infliction of a venereal disease. Assault and battery and infliction of emotional distress appear to be the most common actions. All States have enacted laws providing for wrongful death actions. Essentially, these laws authorize civil action where the victim could have maintained an action had she lived. In addition, most State laws allow actions for both intentional and negligent acts or emissions that cause death. Another potential cause of action involves situations where insurers unreasonably imperil the lives of the insured by issuing or maintaining life insurance policies. Many jurisdictions recognize a general rule that a life insurance policy issued without the consent or knowledge of the insured is against public policy and unenforceable. Since the 1960s, virtually all States have established victim compensation funds to pay benefits to crime victims or their survivors. In some States, however, substantial delays occur in awarding compensation due to lack of funds and claims processing problems. In 1988, the Victims of Crimes Act was amended to require States to compensate domestic violence victims in order to eligible for Federal funding, but crime victim compensation is capped for all victims in nearly every State. Intentional act exclusions under insurance policies are discussed, and the author notes a person must intend both the act and the injury for an intentional act exclusion to apply. 34 notes
Main Term(s): Courts
Index Term(s): Abused women; Abusing spouses; Civil proceedings; Civil remedies; Criminal proceedings; Domestic assault; Female victims; State laws; Victim compensation; Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (VOCA); Victims of violent crime
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