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O'Grady v. Brown

654 S.W.2d 904 (1983)

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O'Grady v. Brown

Missouri Supreme Court

654 S.W.2d 904 (1983)

Facts

Terri O’Grady was nine months pregnant when she began experiencing severe back pains. O’Grady was admitted to St. Joseph’s Hospital, and 24 hours later her uterus ruptured, and her fetus was delivered stillborn. O’Grady filed a wrongful-death action against her physicians, Robert Brown and Robert Slickman (defendants), alleging that they did not properly monitor, observe, or treat her, and their negligence caused the death of her fetus. The trial court granted the doctors’ motion to dismiss the wrongful-death claim, holding that a fetus is not a person under the Missouri wrongful-death statute. O’Grady appealed, arguing that the Missouri Supreme Court should reconsider its holding in an earlier case holding that the wrongful-death statute does not apply to the death of a fetus.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Pudlowski, J.)

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