Administrator, Natal v. Edouard [30 May 1990].

South Africa. Supreme Court, Appellate Division
SOUTH AFRICAN LAW REPORTS. 1990; (3):581-97.

The respondent sought damages from the South African provincial hospital where his wife was sterilized for pain and suffering and for the costs of raising a healthy child born subsequent to the sterilization. He claimed that the hospital had breached its contract with his wife to render her sterile when it had failed to perform, as the parties had agreed, a sterilization during the wife's delivery by cesarean section of her 3rd child. The court upheld a decision of a lower court awarding damages for the costs of raising the child, but denying them for pain and suffering. It rejected the hospital's argument that to award damages in this case ran counter to public policy by interfering with the sanctity of the parent-child relationship. It also refused to extend into the law of breach of contract the idea of pain and suffering. It did, however, limit its 1st ruling, by noting that damages to cover the costs of raising a child would not be appropriate in a situation where the parents were not suffering economic hardship, as was case here.

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