Maritime Group Secures Order Dismissing Loss of Consortium Claim by Seaman’s Spouse in WV

Following the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Atlantic Sounding v. Townsend, 557 U.S. 404 (2009), there has been a trend in the maritime plaintiff’s bar to include claims for spousal loss of consortium in Jones Act cases. Fortunately, a consensus has begun to develop among the Circuit prohibiting these claims as impermissible non-pecuniary relief. However, not all jurisdictions have affirmatively addressed whether loss of consortium claims by a seaman’s spouse are legally viable. In particular, no West Virginia state or Federal court had definitely ruled on the issue until now. On January 27, 2016, the SMBP Maritime Group secured an Order from the Mason County, West Virginia Circuit Court dismissing the loss of consortium claim asserted by a seaman’s spouse in conjunction with her Jones Act and general maritime claims. This Order will prohibit such claims from being asserted in this venue in the future and will be a useful tool in defending against such claims in other jurisdictions in the future. Congrats to the Maritime Group and their client!