Benda v Roman catholic Bishop of Salt Lake City

Bend appealed the dismissal of his filial consortium claim. The Court reversed. It held that Utah precedent rejecting consortium claims for injured adult children did not control here as the injured party is Benda’s minor son. It also held the precedent’s reasoning is not controlling as concerns about the anomaly of allowing a claim for adult children but not spouses no longer exists as the legislature passed a statute creating a cause of action for spousal consortium and did so despite the concern of expanding liability for one negligent act. It held that the consortium statute, Utah code 30-2-11, does not preclude a filial consortium cause of action as there is no indication the legislature rejected such a claim and neither the language nor structure of the statute prevent the recognition of such a claim. It then adopted a tort cause of action for filial consortium when a minor child is injured based on the nature of the parent child relationship and the availability of filial consortium damages in wrongful death cases. It finally offered guidance about the new cause of action and limited it to injuries meeting the definition in 30-2-11(1)(a) and allowing damages from time of injury including damages accrued after the period of minority. The case was remanded for further proceedings.