Interesting Personal Injury Case Out Of Pennsylvania Grapples With Issue Of Same-Sex Marriage :: Personal Injury Attorneys and Lawyers in Charlotte, NC
Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: "Do I have to sign a release allowing the insurance company to get my medical records?"
A recent Pennsylvania medical malpractice case involved a detour into the controversial subject of same-sex relationships and whether same-sex couples, who cannot legally marry in the state, have the right to make a claim for loss of consortium.
A judge in Philadelphia this week decided to throw out the loss of consortium claim by the same-sex couple in a medical malpractice suit filed against Temple University Hospital. The order comes as many groups, including the ACLU, are actively pushing forward a variety of cases challenging existing rights for same-sex couples.
In the case, Tammy and Jesseca Wolf have argued that denying Tammy's claim for loss of consortium based on her gender violates the Pennsylvania Constitution's right to equal protection. Loss of consortium is a category of damages that is awarded for the loss of family or marital companionship caused by another person's wrongful or negligent acts. Generally, in North Carolina and other states that allow such claims, this loss can only be brought forward by married couples.
The case began with Jesseca Wolf claimed that doctors at Temple University Hospital left a metal object in her foot following a recent surgery. Temple took issue with the med mal suit, especially with the loss of consortium claim by Tammy. Temple filed a motion saying that state law should not recognize consortium claims for injuries that happen prior to marriage. The logic goes that because Pennsylvania law does not recognize same-sex marriage, then the loss of consortium claim must be dismissed.