Case of the Week

Same-Sex Partner Seeks Loss Of Consortium Damages

, The Connecticut Law Tribune

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The Law Tribune previews an important or interesting case most weeks when the Connecticut Appellate Court or Connecticut Supreme Court is in session.

Case: Margaret A. Mueller v. Isidore Tepler, M.D., et al.

Court: Connecticut Supreme Court

Date: Tuesday, Dec. 3

Time: 11 a.m.

Attorneys: Sean McElligott; Eric Stockman

Summary: A woman died as a result of medical malpractice, and her same-sex partner is attempting to make a claim for loss of consortium damages even though the women were never married. The plaintiffs argue that the partners would have been married at the time the malpractice occurred if Connecticut law had allowed it.

Background: Margaret Mueller and Charlotte Stacey had been in a committed relationship since 1985, supporting each other financially and emotionally.

Everything changed in 2001, when Dr. Iris Wertheim diagnosed Mueller as having ovarian cancer and performed a surgical procedure that involves cutting out the tumor's cells. The cells are then studied under a microscope to determine the specific type of cancer.

The pathology report stated that Mueller had cancer of the appendix, but Wertheim stuck with her original ovarian cancer diagnosis and continued to treat her patient with chemotherapy cycles for nearly four years.

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