• $2.7 Million Failure to
    Diagnose Lung Cancer
  • $2.85 Million Medical Malpractice
  • $12 Million Sexual Assault
  • $4.25 Million Airplane Crash
  • $2.3 Million Motor Vehicle Accident
  • $3 Million Negligent Hiring
  • $12 Million Sexual Assault
  • $3.25 Million Railroad Electrical Accident
  • $250,000 Falldown (Premises Liability)
  • $3 Million Negligent Hiring
  • $3.9 Million Airplane Crash

Wrongful death actions in cases of prenatal injury

Wrongful death lawsuits in Connecticut typically involve a cause of action by the administrator of the estate of a deceased individual who would have had a right to sue the responsible party had victim survived. This general definition can, however, beg the question of who may be considered to be "alive." Specifically, can an unborn child, or a viable fetus, that died as a result of prenatal injuries have a cause of action for wrongful death?

When it comes to criminal law, it seems that Connecticut does not view an unborn child as a person for purposes of a prosecution for murder. For example, in a situation in which an individual killed a pregnant woman, a prosecution for double murder would not be possible unless the baby is born after the mother's death and does not survive.

Although it does not appear that prenatal injuries resulting in the death of an unborn child would ordinarily sustain a cause of action for homicide, this does not necessarily preclude an action for wrongful death in a civil lawsuit.

The Connecticut statute governing actions for injuries resulting in death, which includes wrongful death actions, does not specifically address the question of whether a wrongful death action on behalf of an unborn child is possible. But a closer examination of the statute, specifically the summary of Connecticut court cases which appears below the statutory text, suggests that such a cause of action is possible, at least under the following circumstances:

  • One case has held that when prenatal injuries result in death, the child's personal representative may bring an action for wrongful death regardless of whether the death took place just prior to or after birth.
  • A second case also found that a stillborn infant that died from injuries sustained as a viable fetus has a cause of action.

As a general matter, the question of when life begins may still be the subject of debate. As we have seen, with regard to Connecticut homicide law, the state does not appear to consider a fetus to be a person. But it may be arguable that in a civil action for wrongful death, an unborn child who dies as a result of prenatal injuries may have a cause of action.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Exemplary Representation | An Outstanding Reputation

Our focus on developing the strongest litigation skills has helped us build a record of achievement that we are proud of:

  • Super Lawyers
  • AV | Preeminent
  • Personal Injury | Hall of Fame
  • Top Attorneys in Connecticut
  • The National Top 40 under 40 | Trial Lawyers
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Best Lawyers
  • American Association for Justice
Email Us Today

Have Questions? Get A Free Case Review

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

L | T | K | E

Lynch, Traub, Keefe & Errante, p.c.

52 Trumbull Street
P.O. Box 1612
New Haven, CT 06510

Toll Free: 888-692-7403
Phone: 203-800-7343
Fax: 203-782-0278
New Haven Law Office Map