The wrongful death statute of Tennessee neither explicitly precludes consortium damages nor reflects an intention to preclude consortium damages. The statute's language does not limit recovery to purely economic losses. To the contrary, the statute's plain language appears to encompass consortium damages.
Plaintiff was the surviving child of the decedent and was the administratrix of the decedent's estate. Plaintiff, on behalf of the decedent's estate, filed a medical malpractice action against defendants, alleging that defendants' negligence caused the decedent's death. Plaintiff sought damages for loss of consortium and for the decedent's loss of enjoyment of life or hedonic damages. Defendants filed a motion to strike and a motion for judgment on the pleadings asserting that Tennessee law did not permit recovery for loss of parental consortium and for hedonic damages. The trial court granted the defendants' motion to strike. Plaintiff appealed from the grant of the motion to strike.
Are consortium claims in Tennessee limited to personal injury suits?
In reversing the lower court's finding, the court held that loss of consortium claims were not limited to personal injury suits and that the pecuniary value of a deceased's life included the element of damages commonly referred to as loss of consortium.