43.5002 Survival of actions-Continuance of actions or proceedings.

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An action or cause of action, or defense, shall not abate by death, or other disability of a party, or by the transfer of any interest therein, but shall in all cases, where a cause of action or defense arose in favor of such party prior to his death or other disability, or transfer of interest therein, survive, and be maintained by his representatives or successors m interest; and in case such action has not been begun or defense interposed, the action may be begun or defense set up in the name of his representatives or successors in interest; and in case the action has been begun or defense set up, the court shall on motion allow the action or proceeding to be continued by or against his representatives or successors in interest. In case of any transfer of interest, the action or proceeding may be continued in the name of the original party, or the court may allow the person to whom the transfer is made to be substituted in the action or proceeding.

History: 1978, PL 15-95.

Case Notes:

Wrongful death action seeks recovery for damages suffered by others when a person dies; survival action seeks recovery on behalf of the estate of whatever the deceased could have recovered had the accident not been fatal. A.S.C.A. §§ 43.5001, 43.5002. Fa’avae v. American Samoa Power Authority, 5 A.S.R.2d 53 (1987).

Parents, as personal representatives of their child’s estate, were entitled to recover for the child’s pain and suffering and for medical and funeral expenses. A.S.C.A. §§ 43.5001, 43.5002. Galo v. American Samoa Government, 10 A.S.R. 2d 94 (1989).

Under territorial statutes governing wrongful death and the survival of actions, decedent’s estate is entitled to recover only the reasonable expenses of the decedent’s last illness and burial and compensation for injuries suffered by the decedent prior to his death. A.S.C.A. §§ 43.5001(b), 43.5002. In re Estate of Ah Mai (Mem.), 14 A.S.R.2d 32 (1990).