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Crawford v. Kirk – Case Brief Summary (Texas)

In Crawford v. Kirk, 929 S.W.2d 633 (Tex. App.--Texarkana 1996, writ denied), on the other hand, the Texarkana Court of Appeals further limited the plaintiff's recovery to the actual medical expenses incurred as a result of the failed sterilization procedure. 929 S.W.2d at 637.

In that case, a failed tubal ligation resulted in the birth of healthy twin girls. Id. at 635. The plaintiff-mother sued her doctor and sought damages for all medical expenses associated with the pregnancy, physical and mental pain and suffering, and the costs of raising the twins. Id.

The court of appeals reviewed extant case law and rejected the Flax court's limited-damages rule. Id. at 637.

Citing Jacobs v. Theimer, 519 S.W.2d 846, 849-50 (Tex. 1975), the Crawford court reasoned that if the parents of an impaired child could not recover mental anguish damages, then the parents of a healthy child could not recover mental anguish damages. 929 S.W.2d at 637.

The Crawford court further reasoned that the San Antonio Court of Appeals' holding in Garwood v. Locke, 552 S.W.2d 892 (Tex. Civ. App.--San Antonio 1977, writ ref'd n.r.e.) only approved recovery of the medical expenses in a suit brought by the parents of a healthy child. 929 S.W.2d at 637.

The Crawford court concluded that Flax's expansion of the types of damages in a wrongful pregnancy suit contradicted existing Texas authority. 929 S.W.2d at 637.