Spousal Rights For Pain And Suffering  

Spousal rights for pain and suffering are violated when, as a result of harm caused by a product or action to the other spouse, the relationship is effected emotionally and physically. This could be in several different ways, the most common being a decrease in sexual activity.

Most attorneys however loosely conclude that a loss of consortium action is confined strictly to diminished sexual activity. This is a misunderstanding and incorrect. In actual fact, however the jurisdiction extends to encompass a number of other factors that are compromised such as:

  • Affection
  • Love
  • Societal attitude
  • Emotional care and support
  • Domestic services
  • Comfort
  • Companionship

The plaintiff must be aware that in this action, the private affairs of a person is fully exposed becomes a matter of public debate, especially so with regard to their sexual activity. It goes with an unfortunate and potentially embarrassing invasion of privacy.

Attempts have been made to widen the scope of spousal rights to same-sex couples and those in a permanent relationship. But this has so far not been passed in law.

The affected spouse is not the only one who can initiate a lawsuit. The spouse who has sustained the actual harm the underlying cause of the change of circumstances that has given rise to the action can also file suit separately.  Hence, it is very likely that a defendant has to face two separate legal actions. 

The damages awarded in such a lawsuit are strictly at the discretion of the judge and jury. The rationale of such reasoning is that the harm done by lack of consortium cannot be quantified in economic terms.

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