Title 10
Courts and Civil Procedure — Procedure in Particular Actions

Chapter 7
Death by Wrongful Act

R.I. Gen. Laws § 10-7-2

§ 10-7-2. Persons who may bring actions — Limitation of actions — Minimum recovery period.

Every action under this chapter, other than one brought under § 10-7-1.2, shall be brought by and in the name of the executor or administrator of the deceased person, whether appointed or qualified within or without the state, and of the amount recovered in every action under this chapter one-half (½) shall go to the husband or widow, and one-half (½) shall go to the children of the deceased, and if there are no children, the whole shall go to the husband or widow, and, if there is no husband or widow, to the next of kin, in the proportion provided by law in relation to the distribution of personal property left by persons dying intestate; except that no person who is adjudged to be in willful contempt of being in excess of six (6) months in arrears of an order to pay child support for the deceased individual shall be allowed recovery pursuant to this chapter and a person so adjudged shall be deemed to have predeceased the child for the purpose of determining distribution under the intestacy statute. Every action brought under § 10-7-1.2 shall be brought by and in the name of the person or persons sustaining the loss of society, companionship and/or consortium and the amount recovered shall go to the person or persons who sustained the loss. Except as otherwise provided, every action brought pursuant to this chapter shall be commenced within three (3) years after the death of the person. With respect to any death caused by any wrongful act, neglect or default which is not known at the time of death, the action shall be commenced within three (3) years of the time that the wrongful act, neglect or default is discovered or, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, should have been discovered. Whenever any person or corporation is found liable under §§ 10-7-1 — 10-7-4 he or she or it shall be liable in damages in the sum of not less than two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000).

History of Section.
C.P.A. 1905, § 234; G.L. 1909, ch. 283, § 14; G.L. 1923, ch. 333, § 14; P.L. 1932, ch. 1912, § 1; G.L. 1938, ch. 477, § 1; P.L. 1949, ch. 2332, § 1; G.L. 1956, § 10-7-2; P.L. 1958, ch. 151, § 1; P.L. 1980, ch. 198, § 1; P.L. 1981, ch. 101, § 1; P.L. 1982, ch. 435, § 1; P.L. 1984, ch. 237, § 1; P.L. 1989, ch. 124, § 1; P.L. 1989, ch. 525, § 1; P.L. 1994, ch. 180, § 1; P.L. 1997, ch. 326, § 30; P.L. 1998, ch. 123, § 1; P.L. 2002, ch. 320, § 1; P.L. 2002, ch. 345, § 1.