Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 16,300+ case briefs...

Sullivan v. O'Connor

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
296 N.E.2d 183 (1973)

Sullivan v. O'Connor


Alice Sullivan (plaintiff), a professional entertainer, contracted with Dr. James O’Connor (defendant) to perform two operations on her nose to make it more attractive. Dr. O’Connor performed the two surgeries but failed to improve her nose and instead worsened her appearance. After the first two unsuccessful surgeries, O’Connor performed a third surgery which failed to correct Sullivan’s disfigurement and further surgeries could not improve her appearance either. Sullivan sued O’Connor for negligence and breach of contract. Her negligence claim was denied but she won on the breach of contract count. The trial judge instructed the jury that damages could be awarded on the breach of contract claim to compensate Sullivan for both her out-of-pocket expenses and her disfigurement, related emotional distress considering the nature of her profession and pain and suffering for the third surgery. The jury awarded damages in an amount that substantially exceeded the amount of Sullivan’s out-of-pocket expenses. O’Connor appealed the amount of damages awarded.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Kaplan, 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 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read 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. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 370,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 16,300 briefs, keyed to 223 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.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial