accompanying her husband on fishing trips to Canada. She can no longer do so. She and her husband had been accustomed to taking short motor trips together, either around the City or in its environs, her husband being a retired colonel of the United States Army and having a considerable amount of time to devote to recreational activities of this kind. She can no longer participate in such trips. She can no longer go to the theater, because she cannot sit in one seat long enough without suffering distress. Such are some, though by no means all, of the principal effects of the permanent injuries that she sustained. The Court cannot properly say that the award of $ 40,000 was so exorbitant as to shock the conscience or even that it was beyond all reason and in excess of the maximum limit of a reasonable range.
As to the husband's damages, the sum of $ 15,000 was awarded to him. Of this amount approximately $ 6,500 constituted medical, hospital, and other expenses incurred by him on his wife's account. Consequently, compensation for loss of services and companionship was about $ 8,500. It appeared that after the accident, the wife was unable to carry on all of her household duties to the extent to which she had done theretofore. For example, instead of cooking dinner at home, the couple found it necessary frequently to eat in restaurants. This was the least of the effects on the husband. Colonel Graling and Mrs. Graling were a very closely knit couple. Their children had grown and had homes of their own. The Colonel had retired from service in the Army. He and his wife spent most of their time together and were interested in similar recreations. As mentioned previously, they used to take trips to Canada on which they both engaged in fishing. They frequently took motor trips. They attended social affairs. All of this now is impossible. The husband has lost the companionship of his wife in these respects. Both of them have had to readjust their daily lives. Under the circumstances, the Court cannot say that compensation of $ 8,500 is so excessive as to shock the conscience.
Necessarily every case must stand on its own feet and too much help cannot be derived from other similar decisions. There is a very similar case, however, to which attention may be called, which was tried under the Federal Tort Claims Act before the court without a jury, Redding v. United States, 196 F.Supp. 871, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas, before Judge John E. Miller. In that case, the wife had sustained very serious injuries. The husband was awarded the sum of $ 10,000 for loss of services and companionship. It appeared that the wife was no longer able to perform household tasks and that the husband had to take over some of her duties; and, in addition, there was a loss of companionship. There were no medical or hospital expenses in that case and, consequently, the award of $ 10,000 for the husband was solely for loss of services and companionship.
There is a somewhat similar case in a State Court in Missouri, Wise v. St. Louis Public Service Co., Mo.App., 349 S.W.2d 406, in which an award of $ 7,000 to the husband for loss of his wife's services and companionship was sustained by the court. In that instance also, the wife was no longer able to perform household tasks as a result of her injuries. To be sure, the award in the case at bar is somewhat larger than juries in the District of Columbia ordinarily give for a husband's claim for loss of consortium, but we are confronted here with an unusual case.
Finally, it should be noted that there is no evidence of any passion or prejudice on the part of the jury. The case was tried by able counsel on a very high level, without any attempt at undue eloquence or histrionics. All the witnesses, including the two plaintiffs, gave their testimony in a calm, deliberate fashion, without any manifest attempt at dramatization, exaggeration or painting the situation in lurid colors.
In view of all of these considerations, the motion for a new trial is denied.