Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Fassoulas v. Ramey case brief

Fassoulas v. Ramey case brief summary
450 So.2d 822 (1984)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Petitioners sought review of a decision from the Third District Court of Appeal (Florida), reversing a portion of petitioner's damages award in their wrongful birth action.

CASE FACTS
In petitioners' "wrongful birth" suit, after a jury rendered a verdict in petitioners' favor, and after the appellate court reversed a portion of petitioners' damages award and ruled that damages for ordinary rearing expenses, past and future, for petitioners' defective children were not recoverable, that court certified the following as a question of great public importance: whether the parents of a child, who was born as a result of a negligent vasectomy were entitled in a wrongful birth negligence suit to past and future damages for the care and upbringing expenses of the child as against the tortfeasor physician who negligently performed the vasectomy? 

DISCUSSION

  • In approving the appellate court's decision, the court ruled that ordinary rearing expenses for both a normal and defective child were not recoverable, and only the special expenses associated with raising a defective child to the age of majority were recoverable. 
  • The court reasoned that the same public policy reasons that barred parents from recovering for healthy children born to them applied to defective children born to them; that the benefits to the parents outweighed their economic loss in rearing and educating any child.
CONCLUSION
The court approved a judgment that reversed a portion of petitioners' damages award in their wrongful birth action. In answering the certified the question, the court ruled that, for public policy reasons, ordinary rearing expenses associated with petitioners' defective children were not recoverable, and only the special expenses associated with raising their defective children to the age of majority were recoverable.


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