New “Rust” Shooting Lawsuit Claims “Loss of Consortium” — What Exactly Is It?

After the accidental shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the “Rust” set in 2021, her family agreed to settle their wrongful death lawsuit against the film’s producers. In 2023, her parents and sister filed a new suit against Alec Baldwin and other parties, alleging negligence, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and loss of consortium. While you may have heard of the other kinds of claims, what exactly is “loss of consortium”?

A loss of consortium claim seeks financial compensation for the damage to a relationship caused by the death or injury of a family member. Specifically, it is a type of personal injury claim by individuals who have lost the benefits of a close relationship, such as comfort, companionship, affection, marital intimacy, or assistance with parenting or housework.

In some states, only spouses can claim loss of consortium. In other states, parents and children may also be able to make a claim. Massachusetts loss of consortium claims are available to married couples whose spouse is injured, minor children whose parent is injured, dependent adult children whose parent is injured, and parents whose minor child is injured.

Recent Massachusetts Loss of Consortium Claims

Loss of consortium claims can arise from a wide variety of incidents, ranging from vacation accidents to delayed cancer diagnoses. While a loss of consortium claim stems from the same event as a personal injury claim, it is a separate and independent claim. The following recent lawsuits by Massachusetts residents have claimed loss of consortium.

  • Firefighter Cancers: In 2022, 15 former and current Massachusetts firefighters filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the “forever chemicals” known as PFAS in their gear and firefighting foam contributed to their cancer and other health problems. The spouse of one firefighter filed for loss of consortium.
  • Accidental Shootings: Twenty people from multiple states, including Massachusetts, filed a 2022 federal lawsuit complaining that a popular type of Sig Hauer pistol tends to go off without the trigger being pulled. The husband of a plaintiff from Orleans claimed loss of consortium in the lawsuit.
  • COVID Death: In 2021, a van driver who shuttled crew members during the filming of “American Horror Story” in Provincetown contracted COVID-19 and died. His wife filed suit in 2023, claiming the production companies’ lack of precautions contributed to his death. The lawsuit seeks damages for wrongful death, recklessness and gross negligence, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium.

Massachusetts Loss of Consortium Lawyers

If you have suffered due to the death or injury of a spouse, child, or parent that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may qualify for financial compensation. An experienced attorney can evaluate whether you have grounds to file any claims, including loss of consortium and wrongful death.

At Altman & Altman LLP, our personal injury attorneys have been fighting for Massachusetts victims and their families for over 50 years. We understand the impact the death or serious injury of a loved one can have on your quality of life. Contact us for your free consultation with a skilled Boston personal injury lawyer today.

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