Loss of spousal consortium

Leg Aspects Med Pract. 1978 Jan;6(1):47-51.


Analysis of medical malpractice decisions shows this particular type of spousal consortium claim is treated by the courts in a fashion similar to spousal consortium claims based on other types of negligent injury. That is, whether a spouse is permitted to maintain an action for loss of consortium is dependent, not on the medical malpractice basis of the claim, but on whether consortium recovery is permitted in that jurisdiction--by the spouse seeking damages--for any type of negligent injury. The common law right of a husband to seek compensation for loss of consortium due to negligent injury to his wife is well established in most U.S. jurisdictions. Four states, however, have abolished the husband's right to this cause of action--rather than perhaps be forced to extend it to the wife under a theory of constitutionally required equal protection. In contrast, 35 jurisdictions have shifted from their earlier common law view that a wife has no consortium rights and now permit her to bring such an action.

MeSH terms

  • California
  • Humans
  • Jurisprudence*
  • Legislation as Topic
  • Marriage*
  • Physicians*
  • United States