Ed Myers has been helping clients for over 30 years who have been injured through no fault of their own. This has included cases where a client has died. For many years claimant lawyers have argued that couples who were not married, when their partner died, should be treated the same way as married couples. The surviving partner should not face the added trauma of being told the loss of their relationship is compensated differently to a married couple.
Finally we now have something to celebrate. Ed reports in more detail on the recent case which we mentioned in social media last week.
Bereavement Allowance Entitlement for Unmarried Couples
Congratulations and thanks to Jakki Smith from Chorley in Lancashire. She has successfully changed a law which allowed only the survivor of a married couple to claim a bereavement allowance after their partner died.
This law was still in place despite recommendations from committed law firms, such as Barratts, and the Independent Law Commission. No Government has been prepared to change a law even though it reflected society’s values in 1917 rather than 2017.
When Jakki claimed a bereavement allowance of £12,980.00 this was refused by the High Court. She therefore took her case to the Court of Appeal. Her claim was that the English law was in breach of the European Convention of Human Rights. Jakki persuaded the court that the previous law was wrong and that it discriminated against unmarried couples. The court accepted her argument. This now opens the way for other unmarried partners to claim such damages when their partner dies.
The result is a testimony to Jakki’s willingness to take on, and defeat, a clearly unfair law. All that is now needed is for the Government to introduce new legislation so this decision can be implemented as soon as possible. We hope the wait will not be too long.