Reclassification of Tort Recoveries by Spouses-Possible Effects of Graham v. Franco
Painter, Newton Ted
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Discusses Graham v. Franco, and the court’s decision to interpret the statutory definition of separate property to exclude personal injury recoveries of either spouse—as well as the holdings in other states which follow alternative classifications. Graham affirmatively establishes that the community property defense no longer bars the injured spouse’s recovery of the separate property elements of tort damages where the injuries result from the negligence of a third party and the contributory negligence of the other spouse. Married persons would be treated as individual litigants rather than as appendages of the marital unit with respect to recognition of their right to personal security.