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The marital alliance between a Husband and Wife and their respective right to each other's support, cooperation, aid, and companionship.

Loss of consortium is an actionable injury for which money damages may be awarded. The loss of the love, sexual relations, and services of a spouse are being considered tangible injuries to an increasing extent. An action for loss of consortium is based upon the inconvenience of having a spouse who has been injured. Such injury might result from Medical Malpractice, Assault and Battery, Negligence, the sale of addictive drugs, Wrongful Death, or False Imprisonment. The key requirement is that the wrongful act has a debilitating effect upon the individual whose spouse is initiating the action.

Consortium encompasses services performed by a spouse. The Common Law did not recognize a wife's right to services on her husband's part. Because she was viewed as a social and legal inferior, she could not demand that he work for her and, therefore, she had no remedy for loss of sexual relations, affection, or services. The wrongdoer was liable only to the husband directly.

A husband was considered to have suffered tangible damages for injury to his wife and, initially, had the sole right to bring an action for loss of consortium. The loss of services that had to be asserted included his wife's general usefulness, household services such as cooking and cleaning, industry, and frugality. Eventually, the assumption evolved that a man suffered these impairments upon injury to his wife, and damages were recoverable by him for any period in which he was divested of sex, fellowship, and affection, in spite of the fact that his wife might not be responsible for housekeeping.

Subsequently, the Married Women's Property Acts (29 Stat. 193 [1896]) emerged. Some states interpreted these acts to mean that a man could no longer sue for the loss of his wife's services, as she was a full legal person. Most states, however, interpreted the acts as extending to women the right to sue for loss of consortium. A plethora of recent cases indicate that either spouse may bring action for loss of consortium.

In 1950, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in Hitaffer v. Argonne Co., 183 F.2d 811 (D.C. Cir. 1950), held that women had a right to sue for loss of consortium. Many states directly repudiated its holding and adhered to the old rule, while others supported the change.By the late 1970s, many courts revised their views and held that women may sue for loss of consortium. Other jurisdictions refuse to rule in favor of the change on the ground that it can be made only by the state legislatures.

Some states seek to prevent double recoveries by requiring that the spouse who is suing for loss of consortium assert that claim in the same action as the spouse who is suing for damages for injuries. When this might be inconvenient or impossible in some instances, other states require judicial supervision of the second action in order to ensure that the amount of damages awarded will not be excessive.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


n. 1) a group of separate businesses or business people joining together and cooperating to complete a project, work together to perform a contract or conduct an on-going business. For example, six companies, including Bechtel and Kaiser joined together in a consortium to build Boulder (now Hoover) Dam, with each providing different expertise or components. 2) the marital relationship, particularly sexual intimacies, between husband and wife. Consortium arises in a lawsuit as a claim of "loss of consortium." Often it means that due to one spouse's injuries or emotional distress he/she cannot have sexual relations for a period of time or permanently, which is a loss to the mate for which he/she should be awarded damages. How loss of consortium is valued in money terms is a difficult question.

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


the right of husband or wife to the company, assistance, and affection of the other.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006
References in periodicals archive ?
Now UCAC's Monmouthshire, Torfaen and Newport Association and its Conwy Association have motions going to that union's annual conference calling on it to "note the increasing influence of the regional consortia over education and the increase in the numbers of personnel they employ."
Each 1mL spore suspension of 3 days old cultures of both potential isolates of Streptomyces: (Streptomyces DJP15 and Streptomyces DJP27) were inoculated to 100 mL conical flask containing 50 mL of starch casein broth (pH 7.0) and incubated at 35[degrees]C for 5 days to develop the consortia. Three different ratios (v/v) of consortia were formulated by inoculating both isolates of Streptomyces DJP15 and Streptomyces DJP27 at different ratios of inoculum size, namely1:1%, 2:1% and 1:2% respectively.
Consortia have various methods of governance and can be classified as having 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, being a governmental organization, or having no legal status.
A separate report by Wales' education watchdog Estyn focused more on school improvement and the consortia's impact on outcomes.
This paper makes use of a unique dataset of 435 standards consortia assembled from 17 editions of the ISSS CEN survey on ICT standards consortia between 1998-2012.
Iestyn Davies, FSB Wales Head of External Affairs, added: "Consortia approaches can allow businesses to add value to their customers, improve marketing, decrease outgoings and have the potential to help those businesses access larger procurement opportunities.
"The consortia are at an early stage of deciding which functions they will provide, share or buy.
" We have pre- qualified only those companies or consortia, which have executed projects worth Rs 18,000 crore in the last 10 years and owned a net worth of Rs 3,000 crore.
Consortia processes can vary, but a constant for many of these groups is procurement finding and buying much needed products for a super (or at least good) price, avoiding aggravation, and offering a healthy and strong communication link among the various administrators, particularly purchasing agents, at institutions of higher ed.
And the AASA--at whose convention the consortium holds one of its three yearly meetings-regularly showcases a Western States Benchmarking Consortium session with an eye to having other districts start their own consortia.
This article describes and discusses consortia models in Europe.