The Hon’ble Supreme court of India in New India Assurance Co Ltd. V. Somwati [Civil Appeal No. 3093 of 2020] it was held by the Hon’ble court that in case of Motor Accident Claims, Compensation for loss of Consortium can be awarded to Children and Parent also.
The bench of Hon’ble Justice Ashok Bhushan and R. Subhash Reddy while examining the legal question as to “whether it is only the wife who is entitled to a consortium or the consortium can be awarded to children and parents also” observed that “The expression ‘compensation’ is a comprehensive term which includes a claim for the damages. Compensation is by way of atonement for the injury caused.”
The apex court examined various judgements and noted that “It is relevant to notice the judgment of this Court in United India Insurance Ltd. which was delivered shortly after the above Three-Judge Bench judgment of Sangeeta Arya specifically laid down that both spousal and parental consortium are payable which judgment we have already noticed above.” The court further referred to the Black’s Law Dictionary and stated that the “The word ‘consortium’ has been defined in Black’s Law Dictionary, 10th edition. Black’s law dictionary also simultaneously notices the filial consortium, parental consortium, and spousal consortium in the following manner:-
“Consortium: The benefits that one person, esp. A spouse is entitled to receive from another, including companionship, cooperation, affection, aid, financial support, and (between spouses) sexual relations a claim for loss of consortium.
Filial consortium A child’s society, affection, and companionship given to a parent.
Parental consortium A parent’s society, affection, and companionship given to a child.
Spousal consortium A spouse’s society, affection and companionship gave to the other spouse.”
It was held by the Hon’ble court that “in a result, all the appeals are partly allowed. The award of compensation under the conventional head ‘loss of love and affection’ is set aside. The Motor Accident Claims Tribunals shall recompute the amount payable and take further steps in accordance with the law”