[Judgment of 25 June 1992].

  • Published 1993 in Neue juristische Wochenschrift


The plaintiffs were a husband and wife who decided that they did not want to have more children. To achieve this goal, the wife began taking oral contraceptives. After she underwent surgery for an ear infection and received an antibiotic, however, she became pregnant and gave birth to a healthy child. She and her husband sued the manufacturer of the antibiotic for the costs of rearing the child. They claimed that the antibiotic was responsible for making the oral contraceptive ineffective, that the manufacturer knew that the antibiotic could have this effect, and that the manufacturer had failed to warn prescribing physicians of this possibility. On appeal, the High Regional Court at Frankfurt, Germany, held, among other things, that the manufacturer was not liable for the costs of rearing the child, because a) there was no contractual relationship between the defendant and plaintiffs and, thus, no contractual duty to safeguard the interests of the plaintiffs; b) the laws governing liability in the manufacture of medications did not apply since there was no actual injury; and c) there is no right to family planning that was violated by the defendant. The Court left open the question whether the plaintiffs could recover for pain and suffering incident to the pregnancy until it could be determined whether the medical community was aware of the dangers posed by taking oral contraceptives and antibiotics at the same.

Cite this paper

@article{1993JudgmentO2, title={[Judgment of 25 June 1992].}, author={}, journal={Neue juristische Wochenschrift}, year={1993}, volume={37}, pages={2388-9} }