Crouch v. West, s. 70--514

Docket NºNos. 70--514
Citation29 Colo.App. 72, 477 P.2d 805
Case DateDecember 08, 1970
CourtCourt of Appeals of Colorado

O'Leary & Ratner, Colorado Springs, for plaintiff in error.

Geddes, Weir, Sparks & O'Brien, Colorado Springs, for defendant in error.


This case was originally filed in the Supreme Court of the State of Colorado and was subsequently transferred to the Court of Appeals under authority vested in the Supreme Court.

The parties are before us in their trial court positions. In the action below, the plaintiff and her husband filed a complaint against the defendant, claiming that as a result of an automobile accident involving the defendant and plaintiff's husband, the plaintiff's husband had suffered personal injuries. It was also asserted that the plaintiff herself had suffered mental and physical impairment as a result of the injuries to her husband, and, additionally, a claim for loss of consortium was asserted on behalf of the plaintiff. Prior to trial, the husband's claim for personal injuries was settled. A letter signed by counsel for the respective parties set forth the terms of the settlement. By its terms the settlement letter was confined to payment for the claim of the plaintiff's husband. Prior to approving the letter, and with the concurrence of the defendant's counsel, plaintiff's attorney inserted the statement that the case of the plaintiff was to continue to trial.

Upon commencement of the trial of plaintiff's case, defendant moved to dismiss the wife's claim for loss of consortium on the ground that the settlement payment to the husband for his direct injury also compensated for any loss of consortium damages which might be claimed by the wife. The trial court granted the defendant's motion, and this appeal challenges that ruling.

The ruling was incorrect and is reversed. In three decisions, uttered prior to the year 1961, our Supreme Court held that a married woman could not recover for loss of her right to consortium 'indirectly' resulting from injuries inflicted upon her husband. Giggey v. Gallagher Transportation Co., 101 Colo. 258, 72 P.2d 1100; cited and followed in Franzen v. Zimmerman, 127 Colo. 381, 256 P.2d 897; and in Johnson v. Enlow, 132 Colo. 101, 286 P.2d 630. This was the law of this jurisdiction as to married women, although a directly contrary rule had been applied with respect to such claims when asserted by a husband. Denver Consolidated Tramway Co. v. Riley, 14 Colo.App. 132, 59 P. 476. In Giggey it was also specifically held that a judgment in favor of the husband redressed any alleged wrong to the wife based upon the loss of consortium.

It is our opinion that, with the enactment of C.R.S.1963, 90--2--11, in 1961, the rule denying a wife the right...

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11 cases
  • Schreiner v. Fruit, 1949
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alaska (US)
    • 25 Febrero 1974
    ...Bradshaw, 108 Ariz. 582, 503 P.2d 803 (1972); Missouri Pacific Transp. Co. v. Miller, 227 Ark. 351, 299 S.W.2d 41 (1957); Crouch v. West, 477 P.2d 805 (Colo.App.1970); Yonner v. Adams, 3 Storey 229, 53 Del. 229, 167 A.2d 717 (Del.Super.1961); Aubrey v. United States, 103 U.S.App.D.C. 65, 25......
  • Manzitti v. Amsler
    • United States
    • Superior Court of Pennsylvania
    • 21 Noviembre 1988
    ...spouse alone and is not barred by the settlement and release of the injured spouse's personal injury claim. See, e.g., Crouch v. West, 29 Colo.App. 72, 477 P.2d 805 (1970); Deese v. Parks, 157 Ga.App. 116, 276 S.E.2d 269 (1981); Brown v. Metzger, 118 Ill.App.3d 855, 74 Ill.Dec. 405, 455 N.E......
  • Voris v. Molinaro, 18435.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • 22 Noviembre 2011, settlement of injured spouse's claim excuses requirement that loss of consortium claim be joined with claim); Crouch v. West, 29 Colo.App. 72, 75, 477 P.2d 805 (1970) (settlement of injured spouse's claim did not bar loss of consortium claim); Jones v. Elliott, 551 A.2d 62, 65 (Del.198......
  • Elgin v. Bartlett, 98SC622.
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • 22 Noviembre 1999's failure to recognize a wife's right to sue for loss of consortium resulting from her husband's injuries. See Crouch v. West, 29 Colo.App. 72, 74, 477 P.2d 805, 806 (1970). Three Colorado decisions had refused to recognize such a claim in the absence of legislative action. See id. In F......
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