Louisiana Jury Instructions: Damages for Less than Even Chance of Survival – Lost Chance of Survival

The loss of a less-than-even chance of survival is a distinct injury compensable as general damages which cannot be calculated with mathematical certainty. The jury should make a subjective determination of the value of that loss, fixing the amount of money that would adequately compensate the survivor for that particular loss. In awarding damages for loss of a chance of survival, the jury is to focus on the chance of survival lost on account of the medical negligence as a distinct compensable injury and to value the lost chance as a lump sum award based on all the evidence in the record. In considering an award for loss of a chance of survival, the jury may consider evidence of percentages of chance of survival, loss of support, loss of love and affection, and other wrongful death damages. Smith v. State, 95-0038, (La. 6/25/96), 676 So.2d 543, 547-49.