Levy v. Louisiana, 391 U.S. 68 (1968)
U.S. Supreme CourtLevy v. Louisiana, 391 U.S. 68 (1968)
Levy v. Louisiana
Argued March 27, 1968
Decided May 20, 1968
391 U.S. 68
Appellant, on behalf of five illegitimate children, brought this action under a Louisiana statute (La.Civ.Code Art. 2315) for the wrongful death of their mother. The trial court dismissed the suit and the Court of Appeal affirmed, holding that a surviving "child" under the statute did not include an illegitimate child, denial of whose right of recovery was "based on morals and general welfare because it discourages bringing children into the world out of wedlock." The State Supreme Court denied certiorari.
Held: The statute as construed to deny a right of recovery under Art. 2315 by illegitimate children creates an invidious discrimination contravening the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, since legitimacy or illegitimacy of birth has no relation to the nature of the wrong allegedly inflicted on the mother. Pp. 391 U. S. 70-72.
250 La. 25, 193 So. 2d 530, reversed.