N. Pac. Ins. Co. v. StuckyAnnotate this Case
Calvin Stucky was injured in a motor vehicle accident. Calvin’s child, Sadee, was eighteen years old at the time of the accident. Sadee claimed damages for loss of parental services, society, or consortium, among other claims. Defendant-insurer moved for summary judgment with respect to Sadee’s loss of consortium claim, arguing that Montana law does not recognize a claim for loss of consortium by the adult child of an injured parent. The federal court, which had diversity jurisdiction, certified the matter to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court accepted the certified questions of law and answered (1) Montana law recognizes a claim for loss of consortium by the adult child of an injured parent; and (2) to assert such a claim, the plaintiff must show that a third party tortiously caused the parent to suffer a serious, permanent, and disabling injury compensable under Montana law, and that the parent’s ultimate condition of impairment is so overwhelming and severe that it has caused the parent-child relationship to be destroyed or nearly destroyed.