Macomber v. Dillman 505 A.2d 810 Supreme Judicial Court of Maine. February 27, 1986.
Facts: Roxanne Macomber underwent tubal ligation for the purpose of being sterilized. After the surgery she conceived and given birth to a healthy and normal child.
Procedural History: The plaintiffs, Roxanne and Steven Macomber, filed a complaint of negligent and careless failure to comply with the standard of care of medical practice against the defendants, Carter F. Dillman and the Webber Hospital Association. Plaintiffs claimed damages including the cost of raising and educating the child, the medical and other expenses of the pregnancy and child birth, the expenses for the subsequent hysterectomy, lost wages, loss of consortium, the medical expenses related to the failed tubal ligation, physical impairment of Roxanne Macomber, and physical and mental anguish of Roxanne Macomber. Defendants filed motion for dismissal or summary judgment on the grounds that the plaintiff failed to state a claim for which relief could be granted because they could not claim damages for the rearing and educating of a healthy child. The Superior Court denied the defendant‘s claim.. The plaintiffs and the defendants filed a joint motion to have the Supreme Judicial Court of Maine set forth the damages.
Issue: Whether a parent can claim damages for the birth and rearing of a healthy child.
Reasoning: Regarding this case, a parent can claim damages as a result of medical mistreatment by a complaint of negligence. However, the scope of damages does not extend to cover expenses caused after the birth like education of the child. It is in the interest of public policy to deny the claim that giving birth to a healthy child invokes an injury or damages to the parent.