Case of the Week

Same-Sex Partner Seeks Loss Of Consortium Damages

, The Connecticut Law Tribune

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"The Connecticut Civil Union Statute and this court's decision in [the Kerrigan v. Commissioner of Public Health case] establish a public policy embracing the legal recognition of the dignity of same-sex relationships that should not be devalued in this case," McElligott concluded.

Eric Stockman, an attorney with Neubert, Pepe & Monteith, represents Mueller's doctor in the malpractice case. Stockman argues that the trial judge and appellate judges got it right.

"Certainly, the pain of losing a loved one is felt by more than just a spouse. Children, parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, fiancées, lovers and friends may to a greater or lesser degree suffer true and enduring pain at the passing of their loved ones," writes Stockman to the justices. "The pain felt by these persons may well be similar to that felt by a spouse…"

However, Stockman notes that only persons entering into the "contract of marriage" are entitled to loss of consortium claims. He further argues that Stacey has failed to prove she was denied equal protection. In fact, he said she was treated the same as any unmarried heterosexual couple in a committed relationship.

"Kerrigan granted same-sex couples the right to choose to be married after a specific date; the court never stated that people in same-sex, committed relationships would be considered married before they obtained a marriage license," Stockman added.•

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