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This article was published on October 6th, 2016
A woman who was with her partner for 16 years, has started a legal bid to get unmarried couples to have the same rights as married couples with regards to bereavement damages.
Her partner sadly died after he contracted an infection that was missed by medics which then spread to his brain and killed him. The hospital admitted clinical negligence and by law the spouse would be entitled to £12,980 bereavement damages but according to the current law, unmarried partners don’t have the rights.
She believed this was wrong, unfair and in breach of her human rights and has taken her bid to the High Court but it was rejected as the Judge, Mr Justice Edis, who heard her case, argued that changes needed to be made by Parliament:
“It is to be hoped that the outcome of this litigation may provoke some further discussion in Parliament for further legislation which might improve the current state of the law,” he said.
She was disappointed with the outcome but said: “Bereavement damages are recognition of the pain and grief caused by the death of a partner and I felt that same pain and grief, with or without a marriage certificate.
“bereavement damages should be extended to people who have lived with their partners for more than two years, as is already the case in Scotland.”
She has not given up and has asked the Judge for permission to appeal the decision.
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