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Patrick Eckler and Joshua Zhao wrote an amicus brief accepted by the Illinois Supreme Court in support of the defendant/appellant in Passafiume v. Jurak for the Illinois Defense Counsel .
The Illinois Appellate Court, Third District affirmed the award of $1,434,025.00 for loss earning/household services and the appellant claimed three errors. First, in allowing the plaintiff’s expert, Stan Smith, to opine as the “marketplace value” of household services of one spouse to another. Second, the refusal of the circuit court to bar recovery after the plaintiff remarried. Third, the lower courts’ error in allowing for the monetization of such services. In affirming judgment of the trial court, the Appellate Court stated: “we have held that the trial court properly allowed plaintiff to recover for loss of material services independent of his recovery for loss of consortium, i.e., loss of the marital relationship, we need not address Jurak’s argument that, as a part of the consortium, material services share the same elusive traits as other consortium elements that render expert, market valuation inappropriate.
Pat and Josh pointed to a long line of Illinois cases that hold that loss of consortium damages are a “conceptualistic unity,” that it is a “theoretician’s boast” the elements of loss of consortium could be separated, and citing to the law of many other states that “uniformly hold that material services and sentimental services should be considered together and not separately.”
The impact of this decision will be felt well beyond medical malpractice cases as it will affect any case in which loss of consortium is alleged.