Chapter 50 - Remedies

Chapter 50 - Remedies

43.5001 Wrongful death action against estate.

(a) When the death of a person is caused by wrongful act, neglect, or default, such as would have entitled the party injured to maintain an action or recover damages in respect thereof, if death had not ensued, the corporation which, or the person who would have been liable if death had not ensued, or the administrator or executor of the estate of such person as such administrator or executor, shall be liable to an action for damages, notwithstanding the death of the person injured, and although the death was caused under circumstances which in law make it murder in the first or second degree or manslaughter. When the action is against such administrator or executor the damages recovered shall be a valid claim against the estate of such deceased person. When death is caused by wrongful act, neglect or default in another state, territory or foreign country, for which a right to maintain an action and recover damages in respect thereof is given by a statute at such other state, territory or foreign country, such right of action may be enforced in the Territory of American Samoa. Every such action so brought shall be commenced within the time prescribed for the commencement of such actions by the statute of such other state, territory or foreign country.

(b) An action for wrongful death must be brought on behalf of the surviving spouse, parents, children or other next of kin, if any, of the decedent as the court may direct, except that the deceased’s legal representatives may recover, on behalf of the estate, the reasonable expenses of the deceased’s last illness and burial

(c) The trial court may give damages as it considers fair and just compensation, with reference to the pecuniary injury and loss of love and affection, including:

(1) loss of society, companionship, comfort, consortium, or protection;

(2) loss of marital care, attention, advice, or counsel;

(3) loss of filial care or attention; and

(4) loss of parental care, training, guidance, or education, suffered as a result of the death of the person by the surviving spouse, children, father, mother, or by a person wholly or partly dependent upon the deceased person. The court shall allocate the damages to the persons entitled in its verdict or judgment, and damages recovered under this section, except for reasonable expenses of last illness and burial, do not constitute a part of the estate of the deceased.

(d) Except as otherwise provided, every such action shall be commenced within 2 years after the death of the wronged descendent. The personal representative of the wronged decedent, if he was appointed in the Territory of American Samoa, with the consent of the court making such appointment, may, at any time before or after the commencement of the suit, settle with the defendant the amount to be paid.

43.5002 Survival of actions-Continuance of actions or proceedings.

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.

43.5051 Timber-Trespass-Damages.

A person who cuts, kills, destroys, girdles, chops, injures, or otherwise damages or removes timber, young tree growth, or products of tree growth on land of another person, or on the street or highway fronting another person’s house or village, or cultivated grounds; or on common public grounds of a village, or on the street or highway fronting that village, without lawful authority or permission, is liable to the owner of the land, or to the village, for treble the amount of damages which may be assessed in a civil action, in the district court or High Court, depending on the amount of damages.