requirements for long-arm jurisdiction, for the defendants inflicted no tortious injury in the District.
The Survival Statute defines the only remedies Perry may recover in this Court for his father's death. Under District of Columbia common law, no right of action to recover damages for the wrongful death of another existed, and a victim's death extinguished any cause of action for tortious injury. Greater S.E. Community Hosp. v. Williams, 482 A.2d 394, 396 (D.C. 1984); Cole, Raywid & Braverman v. Quadrangle, Etc., 444 A.2d 969, 971 (D.C. 1982). Congress created the Wrongful Death and Survival Statutes to alleviate these harsh common law rules. Williams, 482 A.2d at 396. The statute, therefore, provides plaintiff with his only recourse for his father's death. The question, then, becomes whether any tortious injury arising under the Survival Statute occurred within the District.
District of Columbia law distinguishes the acts or omissions which cause an injury from the injury itself. Thus, the Court must look to where the alleged injury occurred. Aiken v. Lustine Chevrolet, Inc., 392 F. Supp. 883 (D.D.C. 1975). Instructive in defining tortious injury is Norair Engineering Associates v. Noland Co., 365 F. Supp. 740 (D.D.C. 1978). In that case, plaintiffs who used defective pipe in a West Virginia housing project did not suffer tortious injury in the District of Columbia simply because they borrowed funds in the District to pay the replacement cost of the pipe. The court made clear that the injury complained of in that case was the defective pipe, and that any financial loss was a result of that injury. Id. at 743. The replacement money was simply a measure of damages caused by the defective pipe. Similarly, in Leaks v. Ex-Lax, Inc., 424 F. Supp. 413 (D.D.C. 1976), plaintiff suffered injuries in Arizona as a result of ingesting Ex-Lax, and received medical care in Arizona. She returned to her home in D.C. and continued to suffer pain and to incur financial loss there. The Court found that, for the purposes of the long-arm statute, her injury occurred in Arizona and her pain and financial loss in the District of Columbia were simply a measure of her damages.
Following this logic, the present action addresses a tortious injury in Maryland, and any financial loss in this jurisdiction represents a measure of damages. The D.C. Survival Statute allows a surviving representative to stand in the shoes of the deceased, and to sue as the deceased would have had a right to sue had he lived. It creates no new right of action. See, Semler v. Psychiatric Inst. of Washington, D.C., 188 U.S. App. D.C. 41, 575 F.2d 922, 925 (D.C. Cir. 1978); Jones v. Rogers Memorial Hosp., 143 U.S. App. D.C. 51, 442 F.2d 773 (D.C. Cir. 1971). In this case, decedent's right to sue would have arisen from his injuries in the car accident in Maryland, where he allegedly suffered tortious injury. While the statute allows recovery for loss of future earnings, that financial loss is a measure of his damages. Because the Survival Statute simply extends to the deceased's estate his right to sue, and creates no right of action in his administrator, the only tortious injury in question is that which the decedent sustained in Maryland. Therefore, defendants Harkless and Criss Brothers inflicted no tortious injury in the District of Columbia, and are beyond the reach of the long-arm statute. This Court therefore lacks personal jurisdiction over defendants.
Accordingly, it hereby is
ORDERED, that plaintiff's motion for leave to file an amended complaint is denied. It hereby further is
ORDERED, that defendants Harkless's and Criss Brothers' motions to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction are granted. Accordingly, this case is dismissed without prejudice to refile it in the proper jurisdiction. It hereby further is
ORDERED, that defendant Criss Brothers' motion for leave to file a cross-claim is denied as moot. It hereby further is
ORDERED, that defendant Criss Brothers' motion for leave to file an amended motion to dismiss is denied as moot.
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