The following section from Day on Torts Leading Cases in Tennessee Tort Law​​​ is out of date and should not be used. It remains a part of this site for historical purposes only. An updated version of the book is available by subscription at (Additional information below.)

§23.12 Loss of Consortium (Personal Injury Cases)

The Case : Hunley v. Silver Furniture Mfg. Co., 38 S.W.3d 555 (Tenn. 2001).

The Basic Facts: This is a declaratory judgment action in which the claimants sought a declaration that the wife's loss of consortium claim related to injuries sustained as a result of her husband's work-related injury is not subject to a workers' compensation lien.

The Bottom Line:

  • "It is derivative in the sense that Mrs. Hunley's loss of consortium claim originates from Mr. Hunley's claim for his personal injuries." 38 S.W.3d at 557.
  • "We have held, however, that loss of consortium is ''a separate claim from that of an injured spouse.'' Tuggle, 922 S.W.2d at 108 (Tenn. 1996) (quoting Jackson v. Miller, 776 S.W.2d 115, 117 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1989)). The Court of Appeals has also held that '[t]he right to recover for loss of consortium is a right independent of the spouse's right to recover for the injuries themselves.'Swafford v. City of Chattanooga, 743 S.W.2d 174, 178 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1987); see also Tuggle, 922 S.W.2d at 108 (citing Swafford with approval). These cases recognize that a spouse's loss of consortium claim is a distinct cause of action vested solely in the spouse." Id. at 557-58.

Other Sources of Note : Correll v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., 207 S.W.3d 751 (Tenn. 2006). (workers' compensation statutes do allow for death benefits to be paid, and thus any recovery from a third-party tortfeasor for wrongful death is subject to subrogation liens by the employer); Taylor v. Beard , 104 S.W.3d 507 (Tenn. 2003), petition for reh'g denied, (May 2, 2003) (declining to create common law cause of action for loss of parental consortium in personal injury cases); Tuggle v. Allright Parking Systems, Inc., 922 S.W.2d 105 (Tenn. 1996) (adopting majority view that fault of physically injured spouse reduces or bars recovery of other spouse); Jackson v. Miller, 776 S.W.2d 115, 116-17 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1989) (defining consortium as "'the conjugal fellowship of husband and wife, and the right of each to the company, cooperation, affection and aid of the other in every conjugal relation'" (quoting Manning v. Altec, Inc., 488 F.2d 127, 132 (6th Cir. 1973)); Swafford v. City of Chattanooga, 743 S.W.2d 174, 178 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1987) (loss of consortium claim is a separate claim for purpose of the damage cap in a GTLA action).

After an accident, many injury victims and their families want more information on the accident and their legal rights. Consequently, many of them have found their way to these pages. While we are happy you are here, please understand Day on Torts: Leading Cases in Tennessee Tort Law was written to be a quick, invaluable reference for Tennessee tort lawyers. While the book provides the leading case for more than 300 tort law subjects and thousands of related case citations, it is not a substitute for personalized legal advice from a qualified lawyer.

Rather than researching these legal issues alone, we urge you to contact one of our award-winning lawyers who can sit down with you, review your case, answer your questions and clearly explain your rights and your options in a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. Our experienced attorneys handle all personal injury and wrongful death cases on a contingency basis, so we only get paid if we win. If for any reason you are unable to come to our office, we will gladly come to you.

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The foregoing is an excerpt from Day on Torts: Leading Cases in Tennessee Tort Law, published by John A. Day, Civil Trial Specialist, Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, recipient of Best Lawyers in America recognition, Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ rated attorney, and Top 100 Tennessee Mid-South Super Lawyers designee. Read John’s full bio here.

The book is now available electronically by subscription at The new format allows us to keep the book current as new opinions are released. BirdDog Law also has John's Tennessee Law of Civil Trial and Compendium of Tennessee Tort Reform Statutes available by subscription, as well as multiple free resources to help Tennessee lawyers serve their clients

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