Jordan v. Baptist Three Rivers Hospital

984 S.W.2d 593 (Tenn., Jan 25, 1999) (NO. 01S01-9706-CV-00142)

Before our firm successfully argued the Jordan case before the Tennessee Supreme Court, a child could not recover for the intangible benefits of a deceased parent.

The Tennessee Supreme Court held: “We hold that consortium-type damages may be considered when calculating the pecuniary value of a deceased’s life. This holding does not create a new cause of action but merely refines the term ‘pecuniary value.’ Consortium losses are not limited to spousal claims but also necessarily encompass a child’s loss, whether minor or adult. Loss of consortium consists of several elements, encompassing not only tangible services provided by a family member, but also intangible benefits each family member receives from the continued existence of other family members. Such benefits include attention, guidance, care, protection, training, companionship, cooperation, affection, love, and in the case of a spouse, sexual relations. Our holding conforms with the plain language of the wrongful death statutes, the trend of modern authority, and the social and economic reality of modern society.”

After Jordan, family members may recover for “loss of consortium.” This landmark case modernized Tennessee law and allowed family members to recover the full value of their deceased loved one’s life.