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Monday, September 28, 2015
Christopher Nolan of the "CT Law Tribune" reports as follows:
"Plaintiffs' lawyers have a new weapon in their arsenal. The state Supreme Court, in a split decision, has ruled that Connecticut children have the right to sue for loss of consortium in personal injury cases. Previously, only spouses were eligible to collect such damages.
The court, in overturning a 27-year-old precedent, reasoned that there was a "unique emotional attachment" between parents and children, and that the grown-ups provide "critically important services" to their offspring.
The Sept. 28 ruling comes in the case of a West Haven family. The father of three children, Jose Campos, was struck and killed while riding a bicycle in September 2008. The family won more than $2 million in a wrongful death lawsuit. However, the children also sought loss of consortium damages but the trial judge dismissed the claim, citing a 1998 state Supreme Court decision that declined to recognize such claims.
"[W]e agree that the unique emotional attachment between parents and children, the importance of ensuring the continuity of the critically important services that parents provide to their children, society's interest in the continued development of children as contributing members of society, and the public policies in favor of compensating innocent parties and deterring wrongdoing provide compelling reasons to recognize such a cause of action," Justice Richard Palmer wrote for the majority's ruling..."