Loss of Consortium Explained

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Under Connecticut law, husbands and wives may recover damages for “loss of consortium” due to the impact upon his or her life, when their loved one is badly injured because of the wrongful conduct of another.  To help illustrate this, consider the following hypothetical where “Bob” is severely injured in an automobile accident, due to violations of our safety traffic laws by another. In the ensuing personal injury lawsuit, “Bob” will sue the negligent driver for damages resulting from his physical injuries. Additionally, “Bob’s” spouse may also bring suit upon the driver to compensate her for the loss of consortium she suffers as a result of “Bob’s” injury.

Loss of consortium under CT law is defined as the loss of affection, society, companionship, involvement in spousal activities and sexual relations, as a consequence of the injuries and losses sustained by injured spouse, due to the wrongful conduct of another.

Legal claims of this nature tend to arise after one spouse is seriously injured or killed by a third party’s negligent or intentional acts, and this has a corresponding ripple negative impact upon the life of the other spouse.  The claim is what the law calls “derivative” of the severely injured spouse’s claim – meaning that the case for loss of consortium rises and falls upon the case of the injured spouse. If the severely injured spouse loses his or her case, the loss of consortium case is lost too. However, though loss of consortium case is dependent upon the main injury case, a jury provides a separate damage award for the loss of consortium claim, in addition to the damage award for the severely injured spouse.

A “loss of consortium” claim includes the losses suffered as a result of a changed, decreased or limited sexual activity between spouses. However, the term does cover much more than that. Loss of consortium damages provide compensation to the non-injured spouse for the injury’s effect on previously existing spousal functions. A claim for loss of consortium typically will compensate the claimant’s spouse for loss or deficit of the following:

  • Companionship
  • Emotional support
  • Sexual relations
  • Affection
  • Services (household chores, care for their children, etc)
  • Love (emotional as well as physical)
  • Society
  • Comfort

Our office has vast experience pursuing loss of consortium claims and will be glad to discuss these further with you.

Please contact us at Tindall Law Firm, LLC at 203 755-0018.