By Michael Roberts
Alabama (and other states) law recognizes that when a person is hurt, as in a traffic accident or fall, that person’s spouse also suffers. A separate category of damages can be awarded to the spouse of a person physically injured, called consortium damages.
Consortium is defined as the right to the love, company, fellowship, cooperation, assistance, society, affection, services and comfort of the spouse and the right to the continuation of the normal marital relationship.
What is the effect of a post-accident separation of the couple? A recent federal decision held that consortium damages are not automatically “cut off” upon such a separation; instead the question would be whether the consequences of the defendant’s wrongdoing caused the separation or whether it was unrelated to the accident.