nThe English common law did not provide for a civil suit against one who caused anotherís death.
nIn the United States all states now have laws that allow an action for wrongful death.
nIn some states the personal representative of the decedentís estate is the plaintiff; in other states members of the decedentís family who were dependent on the decedent can bring the action.
nSome statutes simply specify the action is for the benefit of the decedentís heirs. But courts have denied a ďlive-in cohabitantĒ the right to recover even though such person may have been dependent on the decedent for support.