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Conflict of Laws Keyed to Brilmayer
Paul v. National Life
Citation:352 S.E.2d 550 (W. Va. 1986)
In September 1977, Eliza Vickers and Aloha Jane Paul took a weekend trip from their homes in West Virginia to Indiana. While on Interstate 65 in Indiana, Eliza lost control of the car and the resulting collision killed both Eliza and Aloha. Plaintiff, the administrator of Aloha’s estate, brought a wrongful death action against Defendants, the administrator of Eliza Vickers’ estate and National Life Accident Company, in West Virginia state court. Defendants argued that Indiana law controlled because it was the place of the accident, and moved for summary judgment because Indiana law had a guest statute that required proof of willful and wanton misconduct for a passenger to establish liability against a driver. The trial court found in favor of Defendants, concluding that the law of the place of the injury applied. The administrator of Aloha’s estate appealed, arguing that West Virginia law should apply.
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