Greek Council of State (Supreme Administrative Court) rules that the parents-in-law are entitled to moral damages for the death of their bride or groom

The 1st Division of the Council of State, ruled that the father-in-law and mother-in-law are entitled to compensation for moral damages in the event of death of their bride or groom.

The decision is in line with the case law of the Supreme Court (Areios Pagos), that has ruled on a number of occasions that the parents-in-law are entitled to actively claim compensation for pain and suffering of their beloved ones.

In particular, in October 2000, a 26 year old mother died after the birth of her fourth child, due to sepsis and septic shock, when a piece of the placenta was left in the uterus, in the gynecological clinic of the hospital of Kalamata.

The relatives of the 26 year old mother (spouse, minor children, father, mother, brother and mother-in-law) filed a lawsuit against the hospital claiming for compensation for their moral damage.

The Administrative Court of First Instance awarded to all relatives (including the mother-in-law, to whom the amount of €200.000 was awarded) the total amount of €2.510.720.

The Administrative Court of Appeal reduced the amount of compensation to €1.303.000 , and overturned the decision of the Court of First Instance with regards to the compensation to the mother-in-law, ruling that the mother-in law-is not entitled to compensation as not falling within the meaning of “family” as set in the Greek Civil Code.

The Council of State overturned the appellate decision on the part concerning the compensation awarded to the mother-in-law, ruled that apart from the spouse, and the blood relatives in direct lineal relationship and in collateral line up to the second degree, relatives by reason of alliance through marriage in direct lineal relationship of first degree (father-in-law, mother-in-law, bride and groom) and also entiled to compensation, and remitted the case to the Court of Appeal for a new crisis and redefinition of the amounts of compensation.