GREGORIA CAMPOS, ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF JOSE CAMPOS, et al. v. ROBERT COLEMAN et al., SC 19195
Judicial District of New Haven
Whether the Supreme Court Should Recognize a Cause of Action for Loss of Parental Consortium. Jose Campos was struck and killed by an automobile while he was riding his bicycle in West Haven. His three minor sons (the plaintiffs) subsequently brought this action, seeking damages for the loss of their father’s consortium. The defendants filed a motion to strike, arguing that loss of parental consortium is not a recognized cause of action in Connecticut under Mendillo v. Board of Education, 246 Conn. 456 (1998). The plaintiffs countered that Mendillo was inapplicable because it was factually distinguishable from the present matter. In granting the motion to strike, the trial court acknowledged that the question was a close one in light of the significant loss suffered by the plaintiffs in the present matter in comparison to the less severe loss suffered by the plaintiffs in Mendillo. The court explained that in Mendillo, the minor plaintiffs merely alleged that they were temporarily deprived of their mother’s consortium as a result of the wrongful termination of her employment. The court emphasized that, by contrast, the plaintiffs here have permanently lost their father’s affection and assistance as a result of his unexpected and violent death. Nevertheless, the court determined that the Mendillo holding governs all loss of parental consortium claims in Connecticut, including those advanced by the minor plaintiffs in the present case. Accordingly, the court concluded that, because loss of parental consortium is not a legally recognized cause of action in Connecticut under Mendillo, the plaintiffs’ claims were legally insufficient. In this appeal, the plaintiffs urge the Supreme Court to overrule Mendillo on the ground that it unfairly prevents a child from seeking redress for the permanent loss of the love, society, and companionship of a parent. In support of this contention, they maintain that, since 1980, there has been a clear national trend in favor of recognizing loss of parental consortium claims. They further argue that, even if Mendillo remains the law of Connecticut, it is inapplicable where, as here, the loss of parental consortium is permanent.