Loss of Companionship of Child (Filial Consortium in Florida)

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The parent of a Florida child can pursue a claim for pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life on behalf of the child when a child is seriously injured. What about the parents injuries, losses, and damages? Can a parent collect for the loss of companionship of the child when the child is seriously injured but does not die as a result of the injuries. The answer in Florida is “Yes”. The loss of companionship in Florida to a parent of an injured child is called “Filial Consortium”. The logical follow up question is as follows: What period of time can a jury award the loss of Filial Consortium to a parent? The answer is “until the child reaches the age of majority” which is 18 in the State of Florida. This very issue was addressed in a Supreme Court of Florida case. In a case against the Broward County School Board, the Supreme Court determined that the damages to a parent for the loss of Filial Consortium (companionship to the parent from the child) can be awarded for a time period from the injury to the child’s 18th birthday. As such, if a 15 year old was seriously injured but did not die, parents can pursue a claim for themselves for the loss of Filial Consortium from the age of 15 to 18 or roughly 3 years. Florida Wrongful Death cases are subject to different standards and statutes.