A woman who lost her partner in an accident at work is to take her case for compensation to the European Court of Human Rights after being told that she is entitled to claim nothing.
Laurie Swift’s partner Alan Walker was killed in an industrial accident at his workplace in Sheffield when she was already pregnant with the couple’s child. They had been in a relationship for 18 months at the time and was already responsible for a daughter from a previous relationship.
Ms Swift has already successfully claimed compensation, for her son with Mr Walker, also called Alan. She herself, however, cannot claim a payout because she was not married to her son’s father when he died.
Her solicitor, Simon Allen, told the Yorkshire Post:
“The Fatal Accidents Act 1976 reflects the views of society at the time – that a relationship would only be recognised if the couple were married.
“Nowadays, many people live together and have children outside of marriage, but the law still doesn’t accept this. It is quite remarkable that the child can recover damages but the mother cannot.”
Mr Allen now intends to pursue a European action on the basis that Ms Swift’s human rights have been breached.
Source: Yorkshire Post
Date Published: August 19, 2011
Author: David Brown