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Procanik by Procanik v. Cillo

New Jersey Supreme Court
478 A.2d 755 (N.J. 1984)


Facts

Peter Procanik (plaintiff), an infant, was born with congenital rubella syndrome due to his mother, Rosemary, contracting German measles while she was pregnant. Rosemary consulted Dr. Cillo (defendant) about symptoms she was having during her pregnancy and Dr. Cillo negligently interpreted the results of a test to mean that Rosemary did not have German measles. As a result, Rosemary continued with her pregnancy and gave birth to Peter with numerous birth defects. Dr. Cillo’s negligence deprived the Procaniks information that would have prevented Peter’s birth because they would have terminated the pregnancy had they known of the German measles. Peter brought a “wrongful life” suit, claiming special damages for the extraordinary medical expenses resulting from his defects, and general damages for his emotional distress and impaired childhood. The trial court granted Dr. Cillo’s motion to dismiss and the appellate court affirmed. Peter appealed.

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Concurrence/Dissent (Schreiber, J.)

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