‘Loss of consortium’ means ‘loss of love and affection’ and aggrieved cannot claim compensation for the same under two separate heads

Kerala High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of P.R. Ramachandra Menon, J. while hearing a motor accident claims appeal, ruled that compensation towards ‘loss of consortium’ includes compensation for ‘loss of love and affection’.

The present appeal arises out of a motor accident claim petition filed by the appellant due to the death of his son while traveling in a taxi owned, driven and insured by respondent. Though the Tribunal found the accident to be solely attributable to the negligence of the driver it noted that the actual income of the deceased had not been substantiated properly. As such, taking Rs 1500 as notional monthly income, it awarded Rs 1,15,000 as compensation. The only challenge in the present appeal was in relation to the inadequacy of compensation awarded by the Tribunal.

The  High Court noted that though the actual income had not been proven, the factum of employment was brought on record. As such, it was of the view that fixation of notional monthly income as Rs 1500 was very low and the same was doubled and refixed as Rs 3000 inclusive of future prospects. The court also refixed the compensation payable towards loss of love and affection and loss of estate.

The appellant submitted that he was also entitled to compensation towards loss of consortium. The court noted that there are three kinds of compensation payable towards loss of consortium being; (i) spousal consortium, (ii) parental consortium, and (iii) filial consortium. In case of accidental death of a child, parents are entitled to filial consortium as a compensation for loss of love, affection, care, and companionship of the deceased child.

Relying on the judgment in National Insurance Company Limited v. Pranay Sethi, (2017) 16 SCC 680, the court observed that compensation awarded towards consortium is primarily compensation for loss of love, affection, care, and companionship. Thus, the appeal was allowed in part holding that since compensation for loss of love and affection had already been awarded in the present case, therefore no further compensation was payable under a separate head of ‘loss of consortium’. [K. Karthiyani Amma v. M. Sukumar,2018 SCC OnLine Ker 4144, decided on 19-09-2018]

 

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