Wrongful Death of a Fetus

Texas parents have a right to bring a Wrongful Death and Survival Claim pursuant to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Chapter 71 for the loss of an unborn child. The recoverable damages are no different than are recoverable for the death of a child.

However, Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 71.003 and the case law interpreting §71.003 excludes medical malpractice from the application of the statute. In order for a healthcare provider to be held responsible for the death of a fetus the fetus must be born alive else there is no liability. There is no medical liability for malpractice which causes a fetus to be stillborn. The Texas Supreme Court has held in Fort Worth Osteopathic Hospital, Inc. v. Reese, 148 S.W. 3rd 94(Tex. 2004), that prohibiting the parents of a fetus from having a cause of action for the death of the fetus en utero does not violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution.

Parents who have lost an unborn child as a result of negligence or a defect in a product or premises should seek additional information from a Tyler Wrongful Death Attorney.

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