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Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2005 11:11:35 -0800

From: Stephen D Sugarman

Subject: Injured fetus later sues mother


In connection with the proposed Canadian statute, Ken Oliphant's email mentions some of the U.S. cases.

A student of mine has written what I think is a thoughtful and insightful story about one of them: Bonte v. Bonte. There, a pregnant woman allegedly negligently crossed a street and was struck by an auto. Her injured fetus who was born with grave disabilities later -- through the father -- sued the mother in order to access the family's liability insurance so as to help provide for the child's needs. You can find this "story" on my website -- see below.

This being the U.S., my student nicely shows a) how the "right to life" and the "right to choose" sides in the abortion debate saw this case as potentially important for what they view as a much larger issue and b) how, despite the talk of intra-family litigation, this was a lawsuit that the mother was especially eager to lose. There is also a nice discussion of how, before having the child sue the mother, the victim's family first successfully claimed against the driver's auto insurance, and second successfully claimed against the "under insured" motorist portion of their own auto insurance policy.


Steve Sugarman


Michael Lewis: A Child's Right to Sue Its Mother for Injuries Suffered in Utero: Bonte v. Bonte



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