Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Feliciano v. Rosemar Silver Co. case brief

Feliciano v. Rosemar Silver Co. case brief summary
514 N.E.2d 1095 (1987)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Plaintiff live-in partner of an injured person appealed a judgment of the Superior Court Department (Massachusetts), which granted defendant employer's motion for summary judgment in plaintiff's action against the employer and defendant employee claiming loss of consortium.

CASE FACTS
According to plaintiff's deposition and affidavit submitted in connection with the employer's summary judgment motion, the injured person and plaintiff lived together as for approximately 20 years, and they were not legally married at the time of the accident. During those years, plaintiff used her partner's surname, and plaintiff and her partner had joint savings accounts, filed joint tax returns, jointly owned their home, depended on each other for companionship, comfort, love and guidance, and maintained a sexual relationship to the exclusion of all others.

ISSUE
The question on appeal was whether, in those circumstances, plaintiff could recover for loss of consortium.

DISCUSSION

  • The court answered the question in the negative and affirmed the grant of the employer's motion. 
  • The court concluded that as a matter of policy tort liability could not be extended to plaintiff because she had not accepted the correlative responsibilities of marriage. 
  • The court also noted that no state court of last resort recognized a right of recovery for loss of consortium outside of marriage.

CONCLUSION
The court affirmed the grant of the employer's motion for summary judgment in plaintiff's action claiming that plaintiff sustained loss of consortium due to the employee's wrongful conduct in the course of his employment by the employer.


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