If your spouse or parent is injured or killed as a result of another’s negligence or defective product, you can seek compensation for the harm you suffer. This applies to personal injury and asbestos-related injury or wrongful death claims. Like pain and suffering, it’s not easily quantified compared to lost wages. But if enjoyment is taken away from you, and someone else is responsible, they should be held accountable.
How Does Kentucky Law Define Loss of Consortium?
Damages are a term for losses or injuries for which you can obtain compensation through legal action. Kentucky Revised Statute §411.145 states:
“Damages for loss of consortium.
- As used in this section “consortium” means the right to the services, assistance, aid, society, companionship and conjugal relationship between husband and wife, or wife and husband.
- Either a wife or husband may recover damages against a third person for loss of consortium, resulting from a negligent or wrongful act of such third person.”
This refers to the deprivation or impairment of certain benefits or companionship in a personal relationship due to another party’s negligent or wrongful actions. The types of benefits and companionship that may be considered in a loss of consortium claim can include:
- Companionship and affection: This refers to the emotional and psychological support, love, and affection that one spouse provides to another
- Sexual relations: The injury or disease harmed the spouses’ physical intimacy, whether partially or totally
- Household services: Loss of consortium may involve the loss of assistance with household chores, childcare, and other domestic responsibilities that the injured person provided to their spouse
- Emotional support: It can encompass the emotional support and comfort that spouses offer one another during difficult times
The injured party and their spouse can file the loss of consortium claim.
Can a Child File a Loss of Consortium Claim if the Injured Party is a Parent?
The right doesn’t include emancipated adult children. Given the advanced age of most of those dying of an asbestos-related disease, a parental loss of consortium claim would be rare because the deceased’s children are generally too old to file. Unadopted stepchildren don’t have a valid claim for the loss of consortium of a stepparent.
How Do You Prove Loss of Consortium?
The burden of proof is on the party making the claim, the plaintiff. A loss of consortium claim is not a throwaway, extra allegation used to lengthen a complaint. Like all alleged losses, we need to have evidence that an injury happened and it negatively impacted marital relations.
This claim enables the defense counsel to ask about your relationship before and after the disease or injury. Most people aren’t accustomed to discussing their personal relationships and sex lives in a room full of strangers. But that can happen during a deposition or a trial if your case is litigated.
Not all relationships are positive ones. If the spouses had a rocky relationship that wasn’t going well before the injury or disease was diagnosed and didn’t change much afterward, it may not be practical to make a claim for loss of consortium.
When a Satterley & Kelley, PLLC, attorney makes a case for a client, we thoroughly discuss what the marital relationship was like before and after the injury. That can be from testimony by the plaintiff, their spouse, family members, and friends.
We can also use photos and videos of spouses enjoying special events like birthdays, anniversaries, or vacations. They may also show how much of a toll asbestos takes on a person’s physical, emotional, and psychological well-being and discuss how that impacts a marital relationship.
Get Help If You Have Been Diagnosed with Mesothelioma
If you’re diagnosed with a type of mesothelioma, lung cancer, or another asbestos-related disease, you should focus on your medical care and quality of life while we protect your legal rights. If you’ve contracted a severe or fatal asbestos illness, you may be entitled to compensation, including for loss of consortium. To get help, contact us at Satterley & Kelley, PLLC today.