Horejs v. MilfordAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court reversed the trial court’s grant of partial summary judgment on David Shaner’s claim for damages related to loss of consortium after his wife Laura’s death due to complications with the administration of dialysis treatments, holding that the wrongful death and survival statutes enable David’s claim to survive regardless of the existence of an heir.
In his complaint, David sought two categories of damages contemplated by Indiana’s wrongful death statute: damages related to medical hospital, funeral, and burial expenses; and additional damages including loss of consortium, loss earnings and wages, and loss of additional employment benefits. David died during litigation, leaving no immediately ascertainable heirs. In moving for partial summary judgment on the loss of consortium claim, Defendants argued that any damages in excess of medical, hospital, funeral, and burial expenses would only serve to punish Defendants because the damages would pass to the State. The trial court granted the motion, and the court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that David’s claim for survivor damages could have survived regardless of the existence of an heir, and therefore, summary judgment on this claim was inappropriate.