The Law School Authority

Barbara A. v. John G. Case Brief

Summary of Barbara A. v. John G., Ct of App. California, 1983

Facts: PL engaged Df to legally represent her in a modification for c. support.  During that period of representation DF and PL considered sexual relations.  Prior to having actual coitus interuptus PL demanded that DF use a condom.  DF falsely led PL to believe he was either sterile or fixed.  Pl and DF ultimately engaged in sex, whereas the PL became pregnant.  The pregnancy was ectopic or tubular.  She had to undergo surgery to save her life and was left sterile.

Issue: Whether the deceit of DF to obtain sex from PL negated the consent, and constitutes a tort of battery?

Holding: Yes

Procedure: Trial Ct. dismissed for no cause of action on pleadings for PL.  Reversed.

Rule: Injuries resulting from unconsented invasions of a person’s interest, free from intentional, unlawful, and harmful or offensive contact are recoverable. Fraud and deception do not validate consent.

Ct. Rationale: Case law supports a finding that when fraud is used to obtain sex invalidates consent.  A woman cannot consent to an act, believing that act is something other than what it is.  The DF misrepresentation led to an ectopic pregnancy and the injury therefrom.

PL A: DF misrepresented and committed fraud to obtain consent to sexual relations during a professional relationship.

Def A: Buyer beware, caveat emptor.  PL assumed the foreseeable risk of entering into sexual relations.  She obviously has children, yet took no precautionary steps to prevent recapitulation.

Dissent: The Statute makes Seduction a perfect defense against a cause of action arising therefrom.  The Gravamen of this action is seduction, the act of sexual intercourse, induced by the DF’s false statements.  The injury sustained as a result of the seduction flowed therefrom. No cause of action for seduction, then there can be no damages for the consequences therefrom.

Gravamen: material part of an action, charge, indictment, complaint, the injury specifically complained of.




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