Brief Fact Summary.
The Massachusetts Judicial Supreme Court held that a loss of consortium claim is only recoverable by a married couple.
Synopsis of Rule of Law.
Only legally married couples can recover damages for loss of consortium.
Marcial and Dolores Feliciano (Plaintiffs) considered themselves to be married despite being legally married. The couple filed joint tax returns, they co-owned the house that they have lived in for twenty years, and they have engaged in a sexual relationship. Marcial was injured by Miguel Costa (Defendant) while both were employed at Rosemar Silver Company (Defendant). Two years after the injury both plaintiffs became married. The plaintiffs brought suit for loss of consortium. At trial, the court granted defendant’s motion for summary judgment and Plaintiff’s appeal.
Is the recovery of monetary damages for loss of consortium limited to married couples in Massachusetts.
Yes. The Massachusetts court emphasized the importance of distinguishing between a married couple and co-inhabitants because in the event of an injury to a non-married couple would decrease the significance of a loss of consortium claim. Trial Court affirmed.
The court emphasizes the legal spouse’s right of consortium is one of the highest values of marriage in the state of Massachusetts. Ultimately, the court hinted at the idea of rewarding damages to an unmarried coupe would cripple the sanctity of marriage.