Loss of Consortium Language for a Complaint

Note: This is for lawyers looking to properly plead a loss of consortium count in a personal injury lawsuit. A huge word of caution. In the wrong case, a loss of consortium claim can utterly destroy a personal injury case.  Why?  Because often your best pain and suffering witness is the victim's spouse. You can compromise that witness by bringing a claim on their behalf.  Not for nothing, you are also setting up a possible conflict of interest issues by representing both parties. Keep in mind you are not increasing the pain and suffering damages cap -- at least in Maryland -- by add So look before you leap into bringing a loss of consortium claim. 

That said, there are types went a loss of consortium claim is appropriate.  If you have such a claim, this language in your complaint will do the trick in Maryland and most states. You cannot hold back a loss of consortium claim. Under Maryland law, loss of consortium may only be brought in a joint action for injury to the marital relationship tried at the same time as the claim of the injured spouse.

COUNT III - LOSS OF CONSORTIUM

The Plaintiffs incorporate by reference all the above paragraphs as though fully set forth herein.

  1. At the time of the accident complained of in the Plaintiffs' Complaint, the Plaintiffs were married and that the Plaintiffs continue to be married.
  2. That as a result of the wrongful and negligent acts of the Defendants, and each of them, the Plaintiffs were caused to suffer, and will continue to suffer in the future, loss of consortium, loss of society, affection, assistance, and conjugal fellowship, all to the detriment of their marital relationship.
  3. That all the injuries and damages were caused solely and proximately by the negligence of the Defendants.

WHEREFORE, the Plaintiffs jointly as husband and wife, demand judgment against the Defendants, jointly and severally, in the amount of SIX HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS ($830,000.00) [note: this is the damage cap in 2017 but this language in now antiquated by the new rule that does not require asking for a specific amount in the ad damnum clause], plus costs, pre-judgment interest, post judgment interest, and any other costs this court deems appropriate.

Loss of Consortium Law in Maryland

A loss of consortium claim does not“arise” until the marriage is negatively impacted by the victim's personal injury. In Oaks v. Connors, the Maryland Court of Appeals said that a “claim for loss of consortium arises from the loss of society, affection, assistance, and conjugal fellowship suffered by the marital unit as a result of the physical injury to one spouse through the tortious conduct of a third party.” The injury recoverable in a loss of consortium claim is that suffered by the marital unit. So the jury instruction is that loss of consortium means “damage to the marital relationship” and the jury should consider the impact the victim's injury had on the marital relationship,  taking into account any loss of society, affection, assistance and conjugal relations.

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