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“In an action by a wife who has suffered a loss of her husband’s consortium as a result of an injury to him, the following facts and circumstances, when applicable, tend to prove the nature and extent of her pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages. Only some of these factors are likely to be applicable in any individual case. This checklist is intended to cover many different factual situations in which a wife has suffered a loss of her husband’s consortium: Wife’s family status [wife’s marriage to her husband at the time of his injury, length of marriage or relationship, number and ages of children, closeness of family members]; Husband’s injury as a result of intentional tort or negligence; Husband’s entitlement to recovery for his injury; Circumstances of husband’s injury or death; Nature and extent of husband’s injuries [type of injuries suffered, length of husband’s hospitalization, extent and nature of initial disability, duration of treatment, necessity for future surgery, permanency of husband’s disability, pain and discomfort suffered from injuries and treatment, husband’s inability to sleep, husband’s inability to sleep in marital bed due to his injuries]; Description of family dwelling; Loss of husband’s support [husband’s earning ability prior to his injury, husband’s earning ability after his injury]; Husband’s inability to work; Husband’s services to wife prior to his injury [household chores, housework [grocery shopping, cooking, washing dishes, housecleaning, laundering], yardwork [gardening, lawn care, property maintenance], home improvement and maintenance [roofing, painting, carpentry, installation of fixtures, plumbing, electrical and other repairs], child rearing and childcare, driving]; Husband’s inability to perform services formerly provided to wife; Cost of hiring help to perform services formerly provided by husband; Customary or market value of such services; Duties thrust upon wife as result of husband’s injuries [housework, yardwork, home improvement and maintenance, child rearing and childcare, management of hired help, work in family business, driving, home nursing services, frequency of administration of medication or treatment to husband]; Happiness of marriage prior to husband’s injury [closeness of relationship, length of continuous relationship, common interests, shared recreational activities, husband’s health, husband’s participation in family activities, husband’s devotion to and interest in the family community, husband’s cheerful and cooperative disposition, husband’s ability to render care, affection, assistance, and advice]; Material change in husband’s capabilities, attitudes, and personality; Deterioration of marital relationship [diminishment in quality of time spent together, loss of companionship, threat of divorce of separation, disruption in family or social life, husband’s irritability, depression, anger, or emotional unavailability, husband’s inability to share in recreational activities, husband’s inability to participate in family activities, husband’s inability to maintain devotion and interest in the family community, husband’s inability to render care, affection, assistance and advice]; Loss of husband’s guidance and counsel [wife’s reliance on husband for family and economic decisions prior to injury]; Loss or diminishment in sexual relations [importance to wife of sexual relations, importance to wife of husband’s ability to father children, frequency of sexual relations prior to injury, decrease in, or abandonment of, sexual contact after injury, impairment of husband’s physical ability to engage in sexual activity]; Psychological effect of husband’s injury on wife [change in wife’s personality, wife’s vivacious or outgoing personality before injury, wife’s despondent, depressed or withdrawn personality after injury, wife’s mental anguish or emotional strain, wife’s dependence upon husband prior to his injury, necessity of wife assuming dominant role in family, wife’s anxiety, sleeplessness or nervousness as a consequence of her husband’s injuries, wife misses attending social events with husband, wife misses seeing him work around the house, wife misses seeing him play with children, wife’s prospect of loneliness as the couple’s children grow older and leave home, wife’s embarrassment by husband’s physical appearance, medication taken by wife to treat stress-related symptoms, psychological treatment of wife due to deterioration of relationship, wife’s inability to sleep in marital bed due to husband’s pain or sleeplessness]; Necessity for wife to obtain employment due to husband’s inability to work [absence of any other source of income, limit reached in borrowing from friends and relatives, necessity for repayment of loans, unwillingness to resort to public welfare or charity]; Nature of employment obtained by wife; Damages suffered by wife as a result of deprivation of husband’s support [Lack of any support from husband, inadequacy of wife’s earnings to provide same support, physically taxing nature of work, lessened ability to take care of children, lessened ability to perform household tasks, additional expenses paid by wife, occasioned by husband’s disability]; Damages suffered by wife as a result of husband’s inability to perform household tasks [burden of having to perform housework in addition to working outside the home, necessity of performing household duties previously performed by husband, necessity of employing domestic help for housework, necessity of hiring workmen for repairs and maintenance work on and about dwelling, increased deprivation resulting from additional expenses, depletion of energy from combined drain of employment, childcare, and household work]; Age, health, and life expectancy of wife; Age, health, and life expectancy of husband.”

[Stein on Personal Injury Damages [certain citations omitted]]


Post Author: lawofficesofjamesrdickinson