Wrongful Birth; Preconception Torts; Duty to Inform of Genetic Risks; Becker v. Schwartz
Both pairs of parents sued on their own behalfs for (1) the expenses incurred in the care and treatment of the infants and for (2) the mental distress caused them by the birth of a defective child. They also sought damages on behalf of the children for (3) wrongful life. The Court of Appeals acknowledged the first claim as valid, but dismissed the second and third. It dismissed the claims for damages for emotional distress on the precedent of its 1977 decision in Howard v. Lecher and upon the difficulty of ascertaining the value of mitigated damages prescribed by Restatement (Second) of Torts section 920. It dismissed the wrongful life claims of the infants because the infants had suffered no legally cognizable injury and, even if they had, calculations of damages would be impossible.
Sweeney, Gail White
"Wrongful Birth; Preconception Torts; Duty to Inform of Genetic Risks; Becker v. Schwartz,"
Akron Law Review: Vol. 13:
2, Article 7.
Available at: https://ideaexchange.uakron.edu/akronlawreview/vol13/iss2/7