Torts I, Pages 484–487

Endresz v. Friedberg

New York Court of Appeals, 1969

Facts:

Defendant injured plaintiff and her two unborn children in an auto accident. The twins died before birth. Plaintiff and her husband sued for their children's wrongful deaths and related claims.

Procedural History:

The court at Special Term dismissed the wrongful death suits.

Issue:

Can a parent recover for the wrongful death of their unborn child?

Reasoning:

Historically, children have not been able to sue for injuries sustained before they were born. Woods allowed it for children that survived to birth but with a disability, but not for those who were killed. Parents can recover for the losses to their bodies only.

Rule/Holding:

Parents cannot recover for the wrongful death of their unborn child.

Judgment:

Affirmed.

Dissenting Opinion:

It is illogical and unreasonable to distinguish between death and permanent injury for recovery for unborn infants.

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