In re Estate of Demariont'e Brown-Elliott, deceased.
Bernard Brown, Sr., appellant. Adrienne Elliott, Special Administrator of the Estate of Demariont'e Brown-Elliott, deceased, appellee,
Decedents' Estates: Appeal and Error. In
the absence of an equity question, an appellate court,
reviewing probate matters, examines for error appearing on
the record made in the county court.
Judgments: Appeal and Error. When reviewing
a judgment for errors appearing on the record, an appellate
court's inquiry is whether the decsion conforms to the
law, is supported by competent evidence, and is neither
arbitrary, capricious, nor unreasonable.
When reviewing questions of law, an appellate court has an
obligation to resolve the questions independently of the
conclusion reached by the trial court.
Trial: Evidence: Appeal and Error. To
constitute reversible error in a civil case, the admission or
exclusion of evidence must unfairly prejudice a substantial
right of a litigant complaining about such evidence admitted
Wrongful Death: Damages. When a judgment for
damages results from a wrongful death action, the proceeds
shall be paid to the decedent's next of kin in the
proportion that the pecuniary loss suffered by each bears to
the total pecuniary loss suffered by all such persons.
___. In an action for wrongful death of a child, recoverable
damages include parental loss of the child's society,
comfort, and companionship.
Wrongful Death: Damages: Words and Phrases.
The term "society" embraces a broad range of mutual
benefits each family member receives from the others'
continued existence, including love, affection, care,
attention, companionship, comfort, and protection.
Neb.App. 197] 8. Appeal and Error. Absent
plain error, errors argued but not assigned will not be
considered on appeal.
from the County Court for Douglas County: Jeffrey L.
Loretta D. Collins, of Collins Law Office, PC, L.L.O., for
Martin Davis, of Davis Law Office, for appellee.
Pirtle, Arterburn, and Welch, Judges.
Brown, Sr., appeals from an order of the county court for
Douglas County, which awarded to Adrienne Elliott the entire
wrongful death settlement that was recovered following their
son's death. On appeal, Brown challenges the county
court's determinations related to his relationship and
contact with his son who had died and the division of the
wrongful death settlement proceeds. Brown also contends that
the county court ignored his exclusion from the wrongful
death settlement negotiations. For the reasons set forth
herein, we affirm the order of the county court.
Brown-Elliott, the son of Brown and Elliott, died on November
14, 2014, as the result of drowning in the swimming pool at
his middle school in Omaha, Nebraska, during physical
education class. He was 12 years old at the time.
September 24, 2015, Elliott applied to be appointed the
special administrator of the estate of Demariont'e, and
Brown consented to Elliott's appointment. On September
26, Brown also waived notices of all proceedings except those
notices related to distribution of the estate's assets.
On November 24, the county court appointed Elliott the
special administrator [27 Neb.App. 198] of the estate of