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Wrongful Death Suit Filed in Car Crash Cites Nebraska Fetal Protection Law

Posted Nov 5, 2012 9:31 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A wrongful death suit filed on behalf of a Maryland family killed in a Nebraska car crash also seeks damages for the death of a fetus.

The case may be the first civil suit based on Nebraska’s 2003 law expanding legal protections to fetuses at any stage of development, the Associated Press reports. The suit was filed on behalf of Christopher and Diana Schmidt, their two children and Diana Schmidt's fetus.

The Nebraska law comes amid increasing recognition of wrongful death liability on behalf of fetuses, according to the AP story and the American Medical News.

In February, the Alabama Supreme Court allowed a woman to sue doctors for the wrongful death of her fetus before viability. Last December, the Utah Supreme Court said a fetus qualifies as a “minor child” under the state’s wrongful death statute.

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