A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed by the partner of a woman who was killed in the stage collapse last summer at the Indiana State Fair. The 29-year-old woman who was killed and the 24-year-old woman who filed the lawsuit on her behalf had entered into a civil union in Illinois. The case is of interest to New York readers because couples who enter into a now-legal same-sex marriage in New York could have trouble having that union legally recognized in other states.
Civil unions for same-sex couples became legal in Illinois last June and the couple was one of the first to enter into one. The problem is that Indiana does not recognize any same-sex unions and only spouses and immediate family members (next of kin) can collect damages in wrongful death cases. The question now is whether Indiana will allow the deceased woman’s partner to file her suit.
In this case, the woman’s attorney is fighting to have his client’s case heard in court. He says that anyone can see that the couple acted and lived as a married couple and were in a civil union when the tragedy occurred. He says that it is only right that their civil union be recognized in this case.
The next post will further discuss this case.
Source: msnbc.com, “Fair disaster suit could test civil-union benefits,” Sept. 27, 2011