Sunday, November 10, 2013

Chaffee v. Seslar case brief

Chaffee v. Seslar case brief summary
751 N.E.2d 773 (2001)

Appellant doctor sought review of the judgment of the Dekalb Circuit Court (Indiana) which held in a motion for preliminary determination that appellee mother could recover damages for the costs of raising a child resulting from the negligence in performing a sterilization procedure.

The mother had gone to the doctor to be sterilized so that she would not incur the financial burden of having a child. The mother subsequently became pregnant anyway and gave birth to a healthy child. She sued for negligence and breach of contract.

  • The appellate court held the prior rule preventing recovery for child-rearing as a result of a "wrongful pregnancy" had been impliedly overruled. 
  • Therefore, the mother could assert damages for the costs associated with raising the child. 
  • It emphasized it was not creating a new cause of action for "wrongful pregnancy," rather it was merely applying typical medical malpractice standards of recovery. 
  • It held it was foreseeable that there would be financial consequences which result from a failed sterilization and the sterilization would be a proximate cause of the damages. 
  • It noted the financial damages should be incurred by the party better positioned to absorb them. 
  • While requiring abortion or adoption was unreasonable, the doctor was allowed to submit evidence of mitigation.
The judgment of the trial court was affirmed.

Also see: Abortion legal definition -

Suggested Study Aids For Tort Law

No comments:

Post a Comment

Exploring Career Paths: What Can You Do with a Juris Doctor Degree?

Earning a Juris Doctor (JD) degree is a significant accomplishment, opening a wide array of career paths beyond the traditional legal practi...