In a recent meeting, a client, whose spouse was injured, asked the simple question: “What is consortium and who may bring this legal claim?” Consortium is a Latin word that means “partnership”, “association” or “society”. In the realm of torts, consortium is the right of association and companionship with one’s spouse and/or family. It follows then that a loss of consortium is a deprivation of such companionship.
In Louisiana, certain family members may recover for the loss of consortium that they suffer as a result of a direct injury to another family member. The list of recoverable damages is generally divided into (1) Loss of Society and (2) Loss of Service. Loss of Society includes companionship, love and affection that a family member loses because of the victim’s injury. Alternatively, Loss of Service includes any uncompensated household services previously provided to the family member by the victim, but which the family member will not need to obtain and pay for another person to do.
Pursuant to LA Civil Code art. 2315(B), damages for loss of consortium, service, and society shall be recoverable by the same respective categories of persons who would have had a cause of action for wrongful death of an injured person, i.e., (1) spouses and children, (2) parents, (3) siblings, and (4) grandparents. As noted, these individuals are divided into categories of potential plaintiffs and the existence of a beneficiary in a higher category prevents recovery by those in a lower category.
Because every case is different and there is not one specific value set for a loss of consortium, learn about your legal rights from an experienced New Orleans attorney by filling out our free, no obligation case review form located on this website.