Superior Court Judge James Rothschild Jr. ruled that claims by plaintiffs Linda Henry and Judith Peterson should be treated the same as those from married couples, according to a report on the 365Gay.com Web site. The women have been together for nine years and registered in August 2004 under New Jersey’s domestic partner law.
According to the report, the women’s suit centers on charges that discrimination against Henry, a paramedic at Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, New Jersey, got so severe it caused her to suffer a heart attack and other problems. Henry said she complained about what she said was a hostile work environment and that the hospital responded by giving her less desirable work shifts and subjected her to other means of what she said was retaliation.
The physical and emotional impact on Henry denied Peterson “spousal attention,” according to the allegations.
Rothschild said in his ruling that the law on consortium claims has evolved over the years and he cited the Domestic Partnership Act, but added that damages could be considered only after the date that Henry and Peterson filed as domestic partners.