Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status

Howard v. Mitchell

492 So. 2d 1018 (1986)

Case BriefRelatedOptions
From our private database of 33,600+ case briefs...

Howard v. Mitchell

Alabama Supreme Court

492 So. 2d 1018 (1986)

Facts

In 1971 obstetricians Kermit Mitchell and Joseph Flippen (collectively, the doctors) (defendants) determined Betsy Howard (plaintiff) had been pregnant and suffered a spontaneous abortion. Howard’s blood was typed as Rh negative—lacking the Rh factor. In 1972 Howard became pregnant again and delivered a baby who was typed as Rh negative. In 1974 Howard became pregnant again. This time Howard tested positive for an antibody to the Rh factor, and the pregnancy spontaneously aborted. In 1981 Howard gave birth to a baby who died from erythroblastosis fetalis because of Howard’s Rh-factor antibodies. Howard sued the doctors for the wrongful death of this child. In 1984, after Howard filed her lawsuit, her child born in 1972 was correctly typed as Rh positive. The doctors only treated Howard during her 1971 pregnancy. Howard’s medical expert, Dr. Marvin Krane, testified that the accepted medical practice was to treat with RhoGAM after a spontaneous abortion to prevent development of Rh-factor antibodies. Krane testified that there was a 3 to 5 percent chance that Howard could have developed the Rh-factor antibodies following the spontaneous abortion in 1971, and that there was at least a 20 percent chance that Howard developed the antibodies following her 1972 full-term pregnancy. Krane also testified that there were no tests to determine when Howard developed the Rh-factor antibodies, and that it was more likely to have occurred during the 1972 full-term pregnancy. Krane further testified that treating Howard with RhoGAM would have virtually eliminated any development of Rh-factor antibodies, but that it was conjecture that Howard developed the antibodies due to not treating with RhoGAM. Krane testified that the cause was a coin flip, but that there was a better chance to have developed Rh-factor antibodies after a full-term pregnancy than after a pregnancy ending in a spontaneous abortion. Krane could not say which pregnancy caused the development of Rh-factor antibodies. The trial court granted the doctors’ motion for summary judgment. Howard appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Torbert, C.J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 603,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 603,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 33,600 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 603,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 33,600 briefs - keyed to 984 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership