This note examines the Illinois Supreme Court case which decided whether a mother could be held liable to her child for negligent infliction of prenatal injuries. This case pitted the interests of a fetus in being born with a sound mind and body against a mother's right to personal autonomy. After weighing the merits of these competing claims, and assessing the implications of an opposite conclusion, the supreme court held that the rights of the mother were superior to the interests of her fetus. This note explores the soundness of the court's decision to reject maternal prenatal civil liability and assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the opinion. The author concludes that the court's decision was correct because to impose civil liability for a mother's prenatal torts possesses significant dangers to a woman's personal autonomy and bodily integrity.
College of Law
Northern Illinois University Law Review
Badger, Joseph S.
"Stallman v. Youngquist "No, You Can't Sue Mommy in Illinois:" The Illinois Supreme Court Rejects Maternal Prenatal Civil Liability,"
Northern Illinois University Law Review: Vol. 11:
2, Article 6.
Joseph S. Badger, Note, Stallman v. Youngquist "No, You Can't Sue Mommy in Illinois:" The Illinois Supreme Court Rejects Maternal Prenatal Civil Liability, 11 N. Ill. U. L. Rev. 409 (1991).