In a wrongful death and survival action, the Estate of the deceased has a right to make a claim for injuries to the family and its survivors because of the wrongful death of the mother or wife of the primary wage earner.

But how do you determine the $ value of a wife who was a stay-at-home mom all of her life?

Is a stay-at-home mom worth any $ economically to the family?

Is Pittsburgh a sports town? You bet there is value to it.

The problem, though, is that unlike a wage earner, it is a challenge to prove to a reasonable degree, what the value of a stay-at-home mom’s services are.

Anyone who has read my prior blogs about being nurse Bernie to my wife Michelle, while she recuperated from her foot surgery, can understand where I am coming from.

Having been through that experience, Pittsburgh Wrongful Death and Car Accident Attorney Bernie Tully can tell you in no uncertain terms, that a stay-at-home mom or wife has a huge $ value to the family.


Maybe the stay-at-home mom doesn’t make any $$ financially but she allows the husband to go out and make the living that supports the family.

If she wasn’t there to clean the house, take the children to school, take them to after school activities, make dinner and clean up, where would the wage-earner husband be?

He would be in a world of hurt.

I can also tell you that is true from experience. Michelle does everything around our house.

Again, the question then becomes how do you put a $ value on this invaluable service?

In 1992 the Pennsylvania Supreme Court addressed this issue in a case called Tulewicz.

In Tulewicz, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that the verdict of $2.5 million for a homemaker (a stay-at-home mom) whose total lost earnings capacity, home services and loss of guidance and tutelage had an economic value of around $357,000 was not excessive.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled the large jury award can be based upon the fact that the decedent was an excellent mother, a faithful and dutiful wife and other intangibles.

That goes to what we are talking about.

One final question.

How do you prove that?

Often you prove it through lay witnesses.

Family members can testify. Neighbors can also testify to what a great mother the decedent was. Church members can testify to what the decedent mother did for the family.

All of those things can be used as evidence to put a $$ or economic number on the loss of the deceased stay-at-home mom’s services to the family.

Can you think of other ways?

Well that will take care of it for now.

Talk to you soon. Thanks for reading.

Go Steelers and Pens!

Bernie the Attorney