Can I sue my ex-boyfriend for medical damages and pain and suffering? 25 Answers as of June 29, 2013

My boyfriend intentionally did not provide insurance through his place of employment which would have covered me even though we were not married but had been cohabitation for two years. I told him that I had felt a small lump in my breast and needed medical attention. He continued to promise me that the insurance cards would arrive any day now. But I found out later that he refused to provide insurance for me because he was unwilling to sign the necessary Common Law Marriage certificate him company required. I was not working at the time and had recently relocated for his new position and did not have insurance of my own. Since that time the lump in my breast began to grow which I often told him about and became frustrated because I thought his company was taking too long with the cards. Eight months later I got a job and finally was able to obtain insurance and was diagnosed with Stage 3B breast cancer. This could have been avoided had he signed the certificate and the cancer could have been caught at an early stage. I am now going through intense chemotherapy treatment for an aggressive cancer and he has since left me and moved into his own place and told me he preferred to live alone. Can I sue him for medical damages and pain and suffering. Had my cancer been caught earlier had he provided me with insurance, my cancer would not be as advanced and I would not have to go through these painful treatments. I have lost days from work which as a new employee I did not have any sick time or qualified for Short term disability. I want to sue him for my medical bills, negligence in terms of my health (my life) and pain and suffering. Please advise.

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Law Office of Melvin Franke | Melvin Franke
You need to hire an attorney immediately; you probably have a claim for fraud.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 6/18/2012
John Russo | John Russo
Sorry to hear of your situation, but based on what you have written you have very few if any options. From a moral standpoint his actions are sickening but he was under no duty to supply you with health insurances. Many companies have implemented the provision that employees sign common law marriage documents before providing health insurance for a live in partner for a number of reasons one being that over the past 10 to 15 years there has been a large number of such request with the employee later just removing the non-employee from the health coverage with many of these situations ending up in court with the non-employee claiming that there was a common law marriage and dragging the employer into the proceedings. So now the employer to cover their interest requirer employees to state that they and their partner are a common law union which makes it much harder to drop the non-emplyee partner and also, in many cases the employee will have their retirement accounts frozen also, if they have one with that employer. The only option that you may have and it is a long shot, is; If you can prove that the time you guys were together you created a common law marriage. Now, here in Rhode Island the standard is CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE, not how long you lived together I can't tell you how many times I have heard that you must be together for 7 years to prove a common law, I don't know were that came from but it is 100% false. The court will look at; Did you hold yourself out in public as married, did people believe you were married, did you own real estate together, did you have children in-common, did you file joint tax returns, did you have other types of insurance together, i.e. auto,life etc. did you joint credit together, things of this nature the more you can show the better the chance is of showing a common law union. Talk to a good well seasonend family law attorney like myself to see if you have enough to file for a divorce under common law, and if you do then you may have options against him. Remember clear and convincing, 1 or 2 of the above will not be enough, but the more you can string together the better your chance. Also, I don't know how long it has been since you two separated but I would not wait much longer to check it out, a good divorce lawyer will be able to tell you if they believe you have enough to show common law within 5 minutes of meeting you, and you should be able to get a free consultation.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 6/18/2012
Darrell B. Reynolds, P.C. | Darrell B. Reynolds
Any one may bring an action against another in court. The plaintiff in a civil suite has the burden of proving their case by the preponderance of evidence.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 6/15/2012
Law Office of Gregory Crain | Gregory Crain
In the absence of a duty, it's going to be hard to prove negligence.
Answer Applies to: Arkansas
Replied: 6/15/2012
Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
I don't think you could successfully sue your ex-boyfriend. Even in Montana, you didn't have a common law marriage if he specifically denied it. You also would be apportioned fault for waiting eight or more months to get further treatment after you knew you had a lump.
Answer Applies to: Montana
Replied: 6/15/2012
    Lombardi Law Firm
    Lombardi Law Firm | Steve Lombardi
    A suit for fraudulent misrepresentation may be viable, but you have to ask whether the judgement can be enforced. Meaning, does the former boyfriend have any assets to get? It's one thing to sue and win, and quite another to win and get paid.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 6/15/2012
    The Lucky Law Firm, PLC
    The Lucky Law Firm, PLC | Robert Morrison Lucky
    I am so sorry to hear about your situation. Yes, you can sue him; however, the question is whether you have a legitimate case. I am not aware of any legal liability your boyfriend had for not providing you with health insurance. In fact, he may not have even been able to add you to his policy. Morally he may have liability, but no legal liability. You may wish to call a few other attorneys to get other opinions.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 6/15/2012
    James M. Osak, P.C.
    James M. Osak, P.C. | James M. Osak
    YES you can sue ex-boyfriend. BUT . . . what do you think you'll COLLECT from this BUM? Where does he work? Does he own property? Does he have a bank account? His employer is likely NOT liable to you as they were NOT informed about you (by ex boyfriend). Talk to a local attorney to discuss the particular facts of this story. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/15/2012
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    In my opinion you don't have a claim but, keep looking for an attorney because we often disagree.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/15/2012
    Mike Yeksavich | Mike Yeksavich
    This question is a great illustration of why people should marry if they are going to live together. From what I glean from your brief statement a common law marriage cannot be established. Without a marriage he normally has no obligation for your healthcare and he clearly wanted no responsibility for it since he refused to sign the common law marriage statement which appraently would have allowed for insurance coverage.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 6/15/2012
    The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C.
    The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. | Josh Lamborn
    You can sue your boyfriend for failing to procure insurance. However, usually in these cases the party which you are suing has an affirmative duty to procure the insurance and they fail to do so. For example: if you paid your agent and then he or she fails to follow through and then you get injured you could sue the agent and you would probably win. Here, while your boyfriend told you that he did in fact procure the insurance when he did not, he was under no obligation to do so. You may still have a claim, but it would be more difficult to prove. Additionally, you would have to show that if you had insurance earlier you would have gone to the doctor and it would have made a difference in your prognosis. Doctors usually get pretty squirrelly about making that kind of prediction. Finally, you need to decide whether it is worth your time, effort and money to pursue such a claim. In order to do that you need to know whether your ex has the money to pay a judgment if he is found liable. If he doesn't have any money then a lawsuit is not worth it.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/15/2012
    Burnett Evans Banks
    Burnett Evans Banks | Paul Evans
    Unfortunately, Missouri does not recognize Common Law Marriage. Therefore, absent a marriage, your ex never had a legal obligation to provide health insurance for you, and there is no basis for a claim against him for your lack of health insurance or medical treatment.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 6/15/2012
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    One possible initial hurdle to such a suit is whether he has any assets from which you could collect a judgment. It is almost impossible to collect event a small judgment from an individual unless the individual owns real estate, a business, or has investments that the court can seize and sell to pay the judgment. Real estate usually must be something other than a personal residence as you can own up to $50,000 iin a residence that is exempt from execution on a judgment, and a certain amount of personal property is also exempt (cars, furniture, etc.) Plus, personal property is difficult to seize for execution on a judgment because he can get rid of it so easily. If he has no significant assets, there is no need to look into overcoming the other hurdles discussed below. One hurdle is he has no legal duty to insure you. You can't sue somebody for failing to do something they aren't required to do. You might argue promissory estopple, a doctrine that allows you to sue for breaking a promise if you relied on a promise to your detriment. In your case, you would argue that you would have found some way to get the medical treatment you needed had he not promised to put you on his insurance, but in reliance on his promise, you waited. One other possible hurdle would exist if you did not actually have a common law marriage. If that were the case, it would probably be illegal for him to put you on his insurance. A common law marriage exists where you live together and it is your intent to be married. Your intent to live as a married couple is established by evidence that you held yourselves out to the public as being married, meaning to others, you referred to him has your husband and he referred to you as his wife an/or you signed documents as husband and wife such as tax returns etc. If you did have a common law marriage, you might want to seek a divorce in Family Court and seek reimbursement for a portion of your medical expense (marital debt), and perhaps alimony.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 6/15/2012
    Coulter's Law
    Coulter's Law | Coulter K. Richardson
    It sounds more like fraud. Can you prove he promised to add you to his insurance? Did he email you or text you that he would? I don't mean to be callous, but there is an old saying in law, "it is not what happened that matters, it is what you can prove happened that matters." Also, does he have any assets worth chasing after? What he did was an intentional act and is not covered by insurance.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 6/15/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    You have outlined a very difficult case. Your probability recovery from you boyfriend is quite low given the situation as you described it. You should call my offices, or speak with an attorney with all of the details quickly. It is possible that there are facts which could radically change my preliminary opinion regarding this matter and no firm opinion is possible without knowledge of all of the facts.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/15/2012
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C. | Robert Kelly
    As the "Law QA" website says, this is not "legal advice" for many reasons. There isn't any legal requirement nor common law duty to buy medical insurance for anybody. In fact, it is statistically improbable that any such expenditure would be wise. Further, the great State of Washington does not form "common law marriages" (but will recognize those formed in other States). I'm sorry to hear that you have been stricken with a disease, but there probably isn't really anybody to sue about it. When Job asked God why there was evil in the world, the answer was essentially "you wouldn't understand". So we don't understand, but we endure and do what we can and make the most of what we have to work with.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/15/2012
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    This is only one of the problems which arise when folks live together without benefit of clergy. I don't know of any basis you have to sue anyone.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 6/15/2012
    Law Office of Ronald G. Draper | Ronald G. Draper
    I am very sorry to learn of your health circumstance,however without a written commitment signed by your ex-boyfriend to provide you with medical insurance coverage there is no way the courts would enforce either providing coverage or allow a claim for damages to succeed. I'm sorry.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/15/2012
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    I'm sorry for your health issues, but to answer your question, No, you can't sue him. He owed you no duty to provide health insurance and therefore can't breach a non-duty.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/15/2012
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    This is a complex issue and you really should meet with one or more attorneys to ascertain your rights and what claims you may have. You might have a claim for fraud and deceit and perhaps negligence.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/15/2012
    Conway Law Pllc.
    Conway Law Pllc. | B. L. Conway
    Yes you can. The problem is there will be no coverage for an intentional act such as this.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 6/15/2012
    Law Offices of Maxwell Charles Livingston
    Law Offices of Maxwell Charles Livingston | Maxwell C Livingston
    Yes, you can sue under these facts.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 6/29/2013
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