Friedman v. Meyer

Citation90 A.D.2d 511,59 N.Y.2d 763,454 N.Y.S.2d 909
PartiesAnn FRIEDMAN et al., Respondents, v. Albert MEYER, M.D. et al., Appellants.
Decision Date18 October 1982
CourtNew York Supreme Court Appellate Division

Furey, Furey, Gerver & McHenry, P. C., Hempstead (Robert K. Lapping, Hempstead, of counsel), for appellant Franklin General Hosp.

Kelly, Rode, Kelly & Burke, Mineola (Stephen P. Burke, Mineola, of counsel), for appellant Albert Meyer (relying upon the brief submitted on behalf of the appellant hospital).

Gerald J. Mondora, New York City, for respondents.



In a medical malpractice action, defendants appeal from an order of the Supreme Court, Nassau County, dated June 2, 1981, denying their respective motions for summary judgment.

Order reversed, on the law, with $50 costs and disbursements payable to the appellant hospital, and defendants' motions for summary judgment are granted.

Plaintiffs allege that due to the negligence of defendants, or because of actions taken by them without the plaintiff wife's informed consent, the plaintiff wife was caused to deliver a stillborn infant. No physical injuries are claimed. Rather, the plaintiff wife seeks to recover solely for mental or emotional injuries and her husband seeks to recover for the loss of his wife's services. Special Term denied defendants' motions for summary judgment. We reverse.

It is by now well established that even assuming the death of the fetus in utero was caused by defendants' wrongful acts, absent independent physical injuries, the plaintiff wife may not recover for emotional and psychic harm as a result of the stillborn birth (see Vaccaro v. Squibb Corp., 52 N.Y.2d 809, 436 N.Y.S.2d 871, 418 N.E.2d 386; Becker v. Schwartz, 46 N.Y.2d 401, 386 N.Y.S.2d 807, 386 N.E.2d 807; Howard v. Lecher, 42 N.Y.2d 109, 397 N.Y.S.2d 363, 366 N.E.2d 64; see, also, Lafferty v. Manhasset Med. Center Hosp., 54 N.Y.2d 277, 445 N.Y.S.2d 111, 429 N.E.2d 789; Aquilio v. Nelson, 78 A.D.2d 195, 434 N.Y.S.2d 520). Endresz v. Friedberg, 24 N.Y.2d 478, 301 N.Y.S.2d 65, 248 N.E.2d 901, does not command otherwise. That case held that no action for wrongful death could be maintained by the personal representative of a stillborn fetus, although the plaintiff wife was held entitled to recover for the mental injuries she sustained, including "the emotional upset attending the stillbirths", as a concomitant to the actual physical injuries she had...

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29 cases
  • Individually v. Uniondale Union Free Sch. Dist.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of New York
    • March 31, 2010
    ...194 (2009) (quoting Creed v. United Hosp., 190 A.D.2d 489, 491, 600 N.Y.S.2d 151 (App.Div.1993)); see, e.g., Friedman v. Meyer, 90 A.D.2d 511, 512, 454 N.Y.S.2d 909 (App.Div.1982), appeal dismissed 59 N.Y.2d 763 (“plaintiff['s] wife may not recover for emotional and psychic harm as a result......
  • Tebbutt v. Virostek
    • United States
    • New York Court of Appeals Court of Appeals
    • June 13, 1985
    ...plaintiff's complaint, alleging only emotional distress, lacked merit as a matter of law. Special Term, relying upon Friedman v. Meyer, 90 A.D.2d 511, 454 N.Y.S.2d 909,appeal dismissed 59 N.Y.2d 763, granted defendant's motion and dismissed the complaint. The Appellate Division, Third Depar......
  • Khan v. Hip Hosp., Inc.
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court
    • March 28, 1985
    ...Division, Second Department, cases which dismissed claims allegedly identical to the claim presented herein. In Friedman v. Meyer, 90 A.D.2d 511-512, 454 N.Y.S.2d 909, appeal dismissed 59 N.Y.2d 763 the Court "Plaintiffs allege that due to the negligence of defendants, or because of actions......
  • Paradiso v. Colonial Townhouses, Inc.
    • United States
    • New York City Court
    • March 7, 1988
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