Benda v. Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake CityAnnotate this Case
A 14-year-old student at Juan Diego Catholic High School suffered serious and life-threatening injuries while using a lift to replace light bulbs in the auditorium, during his drama class. The lift tipped over as students pushed it from one light fixture to another, causing him to suffer life-threatening injuries, including traumatic brain injury. His parents filed a lawsuit, individually and as parents and guardians of the student, claiming negligence and vicarious liability, and seeking to bring a personal claim for loss of filial consortium. The district court dismissed the loss of filial consortium claim and certified the dismissal as final. The Utah Supreme Court vacated, adopting a cause of action for loss of filial consortium to allow parents to recover for loss of filial consortium due to tortious injury to a minor child in cases where the injury meets the definition set forth in Utah Code section 30-2-11, the spousal consortium statute. The court concluded that such a cause of action is not legislatively preempted.