Same Sex Consortium Claims

Posted in Divorce

A Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge has granted an immediate appeal from an Order dismissing a claim for loss of consortium from one of the parties to a same sex marriage. The underlying claim involves a medical malpractice claim filed against Temple University Hospital by a same sex couple named Wolf.  Judge Gregory Smith signed an Order granting the immediate appeal which said in part as follows:

This court is of the opinion that this order involves a controlling question of law as to which there is a substantial ground for difference  of opinion and that immediate appeal from this order may materially advance the ultimate termination of this matter.

The issue has arisen due in large part to the recent US Supreme Court’s opinion in the case of United States v. Windsor, in which the Court decided that the definition of marriage, per the Defense Of Marriage Act, as a relationship between one man and one woman was unconstitutional.

Obviously, there are many issues to be decided as a result of the Windsor case, and the Wolf  case raises just one of them. However, it appears that the Pennsylvania Superior Court will be asked to address the issue for the first time in Pennsylvania.