TRENTON, N.J. – A woman whose same-sex partner’s biological daughter was killed in a New Jersey traffic accident can seek damages for emotional distress even though she and the other woman weren’t married or in a civil union.
An appeals court issued that ruling on Friday, reversing a lower court’s decision.
The 2-year-old was killed in 2009 when a firetruck and a pickup truck collided while she was waiting to cross a street in Trenton to see a “Disney on Ice” show at Sun Bank Arena.
A lower court had ruled Valerie Benning couldn’t sue for infliction of emotional distress because she hadn’t shown she had a “genuinely intimate bond” with the child.
Friday’s ruling held that a jury could find Benning was a “de facto mother” to the girl.