The wife filed a complaint in Illinois against the husband for negligence. It was the result of an automobile accident in Indiana. Husband had lost control of the vehicle. He struck a concrete wall. His wife had been injured.
Husband filed a motion to dismiss. He argued that Indiana’s statute on the transportation of guests prohibits interspousal tort claims.
The Illinois trial court found Indiana law applied. It dismissed the wife’s complaint. Wife appealed.
The appellate court reversed and remanded. It reviewed which state’s laws applied. Illinois courts follow the RESTATEMENT (SECOND) OF CONFLICT OF LAWS (1971) when a conflict exists between two states’ laws. There was a conflict here between Illinois and Indiana law.
Illinois has no such prohibition. Interspousal tort immunity was abolished in 1988. The appellate court held the parties’ domicile was the most important factor. They lived in Illinois.
Therefore, the facts weighed in favor of Illinois law applying. Illinois has a stronger interest in regulating the ability of married Illinois residents to bring tort actions against each other. That outweighs any interests Indiana has in preventing those causes of action by guests who are merely passing through their state.
Hand v. Hand, 2018 IL App (3d) 170275.
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