Jordan v. Baptist Three Rivers HospitalFACTS:
The plaintiff sought damages for loss of consortium from the defendants’ negligencethat caused the decedent’s death. The defendants filed a motion for strike and a motion for judgment on the pleadings asserting that TN law does not permit recovery for the loss of parentalconsortium. The trial court granted the motion to strike.
Whether the plaintiffs’ claims for loss of spousal and parental consortium is viable whenthe defendant’s negligence caused the decedent’s death
Survival statutes: permit victim’s cause of action to survive death, so that the victim,through his estate, recovers damages that would have been recovered by the victim had thevictim survived; action includes damages for the death itself; recovery is the same as thedecedent would have been entitled to at death (wages lost, med expenses, pain & suffering)Pure wrongful death statutes: another cause of action in favor of the survivors of the victim for their losses occasioned by the death; compensate for the loss of econ benefit they mightreasonably have expected to receive from decedent during remainder of lifetime had they not been killed = “pecuniary loss” standard of recovery
Here, there are two statutes: One, the survival statute that transfer thedecedent’s right for cause of action against the negligence defendant unto the surviving spouse or children. Second, there is the wrongful death statute that allows the surviving spouse andchildren to seek compensation for loss of economic benefit the decedent would have providedhave they been alive. These two statutes are applicable to the plaintiffs in this case b/c the plaintiffs loss their mother and spouse due to the defendant’s negligence. In this instance case,the plaintiff seeks compensation for loss of consortium and as stated in this case, whileconsortium is not implicitly stated in the statutes, it was implied by what the court labeled as the pecuniary value. This pecuniary value covers all aspect such as expectancy of life, age, conditionof health and strength, capacity for labor, earning potential, profession and occupation or business, and personal habits as to sobriety and industry. Pecuniary value extends to cover different things in human life that makes someone a functioning part of a family both sociallyand economically. The loss of those things is incalculable to the decedent’s surviving family.Therefore, this surviving spouse and children are entitled to compensation subject to thecloseness of the relationship and dependence tot the decedent
Therefore, consortium-type damages may be considered when calculating the pecuniary value of a deceased’s life – holding does not create a new cause of action but merelyrefines the term “pecuniary value” Loss of Consortium - tangible services provided by a familymember, also intangible benefits each family member receives from the continued existence of other family members (compensating for this)