Designer baby – scalisi vs. ny univ. medical center

Designer Baby (Scalisi vs. NY Univ. Medical Center, p. 429)

Why was the basis of the parent’s argument that they were not bound by the written contract in the Scalisi et al. v. New York University Medical Center case?


The basis for the Scalisi’s (the parent’s) argument was that prior to signing the written contract with NY Univ. Medical Center, they entered into an oral contract. The Scalisi’s argued that they were not bound by the executed written contract, due to a breach of oral contract on the part of NY Univ. Medical Center. The Scalisi’s claim in the oral contract made with them, they were assured that by impregnating Mrs. Scalisi instead of a surrogate, their child would not be free of autism. This was a huge risk and concern for the Scalisi’s family because the mother (wife) has a family history of autism.


How did the court rule and what was the reasoning for that decision.


In this case, the court ruled to dismiss the Scalisi’s claim of a breach of contract, the Scalisi’s failed to prove any compensatory damages that are required for a breach of contract claim. The court states further that redundant where a case sounds in medical malpractice, a breach of contract is legally terminated, unless the plaintiff can prove the defendant specifically promised to effect a cure or a definite result, the Scalisi’s did not prove that to be true. The court also reasons that they do not take into consideration any possible prior oral contracts that alters or contradicts the written agreement, per the parole evidence rule Designer baby – scalisi vs. ny univ. medical center. The parole evidence rule makes inadmissible any oral contracts or evidence made prior to a written agreement that is intended to be the complete and final version of the parties’ agreement.


Do you agree or disagree. Why or why not?


I agree with the ruling of the court. Written contracts are meant to be the finalized version of an agreement; if the Scalisi’s entered into an oral contract with NY Univ. Medical Center, they should not have signed the written contract because it didn’t state the terms of their oral contract. The Scalisi’s had options; they could have not signed the written contract as it was presented to them, they could have negotiated the terms to have the written contract amended, and if that failed they could have gone to another hospital that agreed to have their oral contract terms added to a written contract Designer baby – scalisi vs. ny univ. medical center.



Have you ever entered into an oral contract? Discuss.


I have not entered in any oral contract with anyone when it comes to business or family matters. Since I am the only provider for my family (my daughter and I), my goal is to make sure that I don’t write checks or oral contracts that my mouth cannot cash. My father always make sure that I am careful with budget and stay within my allowance. Designer baby – scalisi vs. ny univ. medical center.

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