Conflict of Laws – Tort – Lex Loci or Lex Domicilii to Determine Interspousal Capacity to Sue?

Husband and wife, Wisconsin domiciliaries, were involved in an automobile accident in Illinois. W brought suit in Wisconsin against H‘s insurer for alleged injuries resulting from the accident. The trial court dismissed the complaint on the ground that Illinois law was applicable and did not give one spouse a cause of action against the other for tort. On appeal to the Supreme Court of Wisconsin, held, reversed, one judge dissenting. The Illinois Married Women’s Act should be strictly construed as destroying only the remedy in the Illinois courts, but not the substantive right to relief; hence, the Wisconsin court may entertain the suit under Illinois law. Bodenhagen v. Farmers Mutual Ins. Co., (Wis. 1958) 92 N.W. (2d) 759.