A woman who won her landmark battle for greater legal recognition for bereaved unmarried couples has called for the law to recognise “society has moved on”. Jakki Smith, an NHS worker, took the government to court for breaching her human rights in denying her bereavement damages because she was not married to her partner of 16 years when he died. If a couple are married a fixed sum of £12,980 is paid if a spouse dies as a result of negligence, but the same rights do not apply to cohabiting couples in similarly committed relationships. On Tuesday, the court of appeal allowed her challenge against a high court ruling dismissing her claim. The master of the rolls, Sir Terence Etherton, Lord Justice McCombe and Sir Patrick Elias set aside a ruling by Mr Justice Edis last year.
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