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This is a United States question.

Let's say that an airbag manufacturer makes deadly airbags (Takata) because of gross incompetence, and someone gets killed because of them. Who's entitled to financial compensation in this case? Children? Parents? Grandparents? SO's? Friends? And how exactly is the payout for each person determined? I imagine that it's extremely difficult to put a value on the love between people that was cut short.

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Who's entitled to financial compensation in this case? Children? Parents? Grandparents? SO's? Friends?

Usually, state law in the state where the person who died was domiciled at death specifies who may file a wrongful death lawsuit (and usually it is not the most obvious answer, the probate estate of the deceased person).

The Colorado Statue, which is typical, is found at Colorado Revised Statutes, § 13-21-201 et seq.

The person or persons entitled to sue for wrongful death are usually basically "next of kin" but the details of how this is defined and operationalized varies moderately from state to state.

And how exactly is the payout for each person determined?

The total dollar amount is usually determined by a jury based upon evidence provided at trial although there is no fixed formula. The jury simply assigns a value that it believes is fair.

If more than one person is allowed to sue for wrongful death, the state wrongful death statute clarifies how the wrongful death settlement is divided among those people.

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