Clark v. Suncoast Hospital, Inc., 76--1222

Decision Date27 October 1976
Docket NumberNo. 76--1222,76--1222
Citation338 So.2d 1117
PartiesRaymond CLARK et al., Plaintiffs, v. SUNCOAST HOSPITAL, INC., et al., Defendants.
CourtFlorida District Court of Appeals

John A. Lloyd, Jr., of Lloyd & Henninger, St. Petersburg, and Karl B. Grube, Seminole, for plaintiffs.

Charles S. Carrere, of Harrison, Greene, Mann, Rowe & Stanton, St. Petersburg, for defendants, Evans and Harvey.

SCHEB, Judge.

The Circuit Court of the Sixth Judicial Circuit in and for Pinellas County has certified to this court the following question under Fla.App. Rule 4.6(a):

DOES A DEPENDENT CHILD UNDER THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN YEARS HAVE A 'DERIVATIVE' CLAIM ARISING FROM AN INJURY TO A PARENT UPON WHOM THE MINOR DEPENDS FOR SUPPORT, INSTRUCTION OR COMPANIONSHIP, IN CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH THE PARENT IS INJURED BUT DOES NOT DIE AS A RESULT OF THE INCIDENT IN LITIGATION?

Plaintiff Raymond Clark, in Count I of his suit against the defendants, seeks damages on allegations that defendants' negligence resulted in his suffering cardiac arrest during surgery on April 23, 1973, thereby causing brain damage, paralysis and personality changes which have rendered the plaintiff disabled and unable to care for his children. In Count II, Clark's wife seeks damages for loss of support, care, companionship, and consortium of her husband. In Count III, the Clark children, as plaintiffs, seek damages against the defendants, alleging:

'15. Donathon Clark, Sherry Clark and Shane Clark state that they are the minor children of Raymond Clark and Linda Clark, the plaintiffs herein, and that as a result of the negligence of defendants as set forth by Raymond Clark in Count I and on account of the injury to Raymond Clark's brain, and personality changes and disabilities imposed by his said injuries, they have been deprived of the support and the instruction and the companionship of Raymond Clark who has been unable, as a result of his said injury, to function as a father and as a provider for his said children.'

Defendants moved to dismiss Count III; however, the trial judge reserved ruling and certified the above question to this court. Counsel for the parties agree that an answer to the question certified would be determinative of the entire cause inasmuch as all claims of the Clark children as plaintiffs are alleged in Count III. We agree that our answer will be dispositive of their case. See Fla.App. Rule 4.6(a). Cf., Dees v. State, 295 So.2d 296 (Fla.1974); Gordon v. Norris, 90 So.2d 914 (Fla.1956).

Admittedly, the question is without controlling precedent in this state. Plaintiffs make a forceful argument that as children of a disabled father, they will not only suffer a loss of the funds that their father ordinarily would have provided for their food, shelter and health; but likewise, the loss of love, moral training, example and guidance they would otherwise receive. And while plaintiffs concede that their father is the appropriate claimant to recover for loss of income which would be used to pay for their basic requirements of life, they argue that to deny them the right to recover their own intangible losses is a manifest injustice. The cause of action now claimed by the plaintiffs was unknown at common law and has not been provided by statute. But, plaintiffs cite Gates v. Foley, 247 So.2d 40 (Fla.1971), where the court recognized a wife's entitlement unknown at common law, to recover for loss of consortium derivative of her husband's claim for damages for his own injuries. Moreover, plaintiffs point to statutory enactments in favor of children for damages occurring during the lifetime of an injured parent where that...

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19 cases
  • Roth v. Bell
    • United States
    • Washington Court of Appeals
    • September 4, 1979
    ...argument that a defendant should not be exposed to unlimited liability from multiple lawsuits. As stated in Clark v. Suncoast Hosp., Inc., 338 So.2d 1117, 1118-19 (Fla.App.1976): Numerous considerations weigh against formulation of children's right of action. Nine of these reasons are cited......
  • Bennight v. Western Auto Supply Co., 13838
    • United States
    • Texas Court of Appeals
    • April 4, 1984
    ...or by the common law.a. Loss of financial support. The following hold that a cause of action will not lie. Clark v. Suncoast Hospital, Inc., 338 So.2d 1117 (Fla.Dist.Ct.App.1976); Kelly v. U.S. Fid. & Guar. Co., 353 So.2d 349 (La.App.1977) (appeal dism'd); Berger v. Weber, 82 Mich.App. 199,......
  • Theama by Bichler v. City of Kenosha
    • United States
    • Wisconsin Supreme Court
    • March 8, 1984
    ...P.2d 858, 138 Cal.Rptr. 302 (1977); Pleasant v. Washington Sand & Gravel Co., 262 F.2d 471 (D.C.Cir.1958); Clark v. Suncoast Hospital, Inc., 338 So.2d 1117 (Fla.Dist.Ct.App.1976); Halberg v. Young, 41 Hawaii 634 (1957); Koskela v. Martin, 91 Ill.App.3d 568, 47 Ill.Dec. 32, 414 N.E.2d 1148 (......
  • Reagan v. Vaughn
    • United States
    • Texas Supreme Court
    • December 19, 1990
    ...v. Washington Sand & Gravel Co., 262 F.2d 471 (D.C.Cir.1958); Zorzos v. Rosen, 467 So.2d 305 (Fla.1985), citing Clark v. Suncoast Hosp., Inc., 338 So.2d 1117 (Fla. 2d DCA 1976); W.J. Bremer Co. v. Graham, 169 Ga.App. 115, 312 S.E.2d 806 (1983); Halberg v. Young, 41 Haw. 634, 59 A.L.R.2d 445......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
  • Parental consortium: "Have you checked the children's claims?"(Florida law)
    • United States
    • Florida Bar Journal Vol. 74 No. 9, October 2000
    • October 1, 2000
    ...[1] FLA. STAT. [sections] 768.0415 (1999). [2] Zorzos, 467 So. 2d at 306. [3] Id. at 306 (citing Clark v. Suncoast Hospital, Inc., 338 So. 2d 1117 (Fla. 2d D.C.A. 1976); Fayden v. Guerrero, 420 So. 2d 656 (Fla. 3d D.C.A. 1982); Ramirez v. Comm. Union Ins. Co., 369 So. 2d 360 (Fla. 3d D.C.A.......

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