Before her divorce was final, Deborah Martin sued her husband, Ernest John Lofgren, for beating her and causing her to suffer a broken cheekbone, broken nose and dislocated jaw, as well as severe dental injuries. Fairfax County jurors decided Lofgren needed to do more than just a short jail stint. They ordered him to pay Martin $550,000, in part for the extensive bills to repair her face — and mind — and to make a statement that domestic violence is intolerable, jurors said.
There is a popular misconception that family members may not sue one another. Family members can sue one another for not only intentional injuries, like those described here, but also in sitautions where family members are negligent. Car accidents are usually the most frequent basis for one family member suing another.