In 2007, a medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit was filed against doctors who delivered a stillborn baby and the U.S. government by the mother of the child. The government countered that under Utah law, no Damages were eligible as the statute only referred to a minor child and not an unborn child, giving rise to the question, what is the definition of a "minor child".
In 2009, the Utah federal court sent a request to the Utah Supreme Court to determine what the definition of a minor child was. Five justices sat on the case and four of those concluded that the term "minor child" did encompass the term "unborn child" based on the word "child" which they deemed to include young person, baby or fetus. Minor was determined to be used to base the maximum age of majority but not how young the child had to be.
Following this decision, the Utah Supreme Court gave parents the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit for their unborn child. This brings the total number of states which allow this action to seven, with the Personhood USA group pushing for legislation in Florida, Nevada, Alaska, Montana, California and Ohio.
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