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What is loss of consortium?

| Dec 28, 2018 | Wrongful Death

Many viewing a situation from an outside perspective may question the motivation for you to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Covington, given that no amount of civil action will bring your loved one back. Yet while punitive measures may be among the reasons you might seek action for wrongful death (to the extent that it assigns responsibility for your family member or friend’s death), the primary reason is often to compensate for the financial losses that their absence now brings. 

The common school of thought is that only those tangible types of losses can be quantified. Far greater, however, are the emotional losses you experience from being deprived of your loved one’s company. Yet Kentucky law does indeed allow you (in certain situations) to recover damages for the non-economic losses (legally termed to be “loss of consortium”). 

Section 411.145 of Kentucky’s Revised Statutes says that loss of consortium can include: 

  • Loss of the right to services
  • Loss of assistance
  • Loss of aid
  • Loss of society 
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of a conjugal relationship

The difficulty in applying this statute is assigning the dollar value to what these services mean to you. For example, the loss of your spouse’s companionship would certainly be more difficult to deal with than losing a distant relative or acquaintance. For this reason, the law only allows you to recover damages if the decedent was your spouse. 

In some cases, loss of consortium may be extended if the deceased was your minor child, as their death deprives you of the benefit of a life-long relationship. Yet such a privilege would only be considered on a case-by-case basis, and would not apply in cases where you had abandoned your child.