Eighteen year old Michelle Madden, a coed, sought a safe and legal abortion from O.B. Evans at Family Planning Medical Center of Mobile, Alabama. It was performed on November 18, 1986. Michelle had been taking medication for epilepsy, and a doctor had told her that her baby would have birth defects.
When Michelle's parents arrived at the college to take her home for Thanksgiving, the house mother had sad news for them. Three days after the abortion, Michelle had collapsed. She was taken to the hospital, where doctors found a leg bone, two pieces of skull, and some placenta still in Michelle's uterus. The surgery to save her life was too late. Sepsis had already set in, and Michelle died November 24, three days after she was admitted. According to FindLaw, she bled to death.
Her parents sued Evans and the facility, and in 1991 a jury awarded them $10 million in damages. Evans appealed on the grounds that this would "devastate him financially", because his malpractice insurance would only cover $1 million. During the appeal, the parties agreed to settle for $5 million, with the insurance company paying the entire amount. Evans then sued his insurance company for not having settled with the family for $1 million prior to the trial, thus subjecting him to "emotional distress, humiliation, damage to his reputation, and loss of business" -- such "emotional distress", he asserted, was "so severe that no reasonable person could be expected to endure it."
Interesting, that the lawsuit, and not the needless death of an 18-year-old girl who had trusted him, is what caused Evans such emotional distress. Though, of course, he had nobody to sue for that other than himself.
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