BY: CHRIS BLANKINSHIP, ESQ.
When Ingrid Paulicivic visited Dr.Red Alinsod for a hysterectomy, she had no idea she would one day become famous for her tagged uterus. According to a complaint filed with the City of Orange Superior Court, Paulicivic visited her doctor in 2006 and wound up with suspicious upper leg burns. She returned to Alinsod sometime later and demanded the photos that were taken during her procedure. Ingrid inspected the photos and was horrified when she discovered Alinsod had literally branded “Ingrid” across her uterus. Why’d he do it? Because he “did not want to get it confused with others.”
Ingrid has sued on three legal theories: (1) Negligence, (2) Loss of Consortium, and (3) Battery. Each of these claims has elements that must be proved, which is not always easy considering Paulicivic was drugged during the surgery. Luckily, it appears Alinsod loves to record his procedures and has numerous photos of Paulicivic’s procedure. The complaint hasn’t specified damages, but you can expect them to be huge.
The negligence theory claims Alinsod acted in way that deviated from the standard of care expected of a medical professional, which lead to Paulicivic’s injuries. Physicians are held to a high standard because of the training and experience they should have, and the expectations we have of them as licensed medical providers. Alinsod has already stated that branding a uterus is not typical, thank god.
The battery claim states that Alinsod performed the procedure in a way that grossly departed from the known and accepted methods for performing a hysterectomy. Paulicivic never consented to Alinsod’s departure, this departure resulted in burn injuries, therefore it’s a battery.
Loss of Consortium (Loss of Sex)
The loss of consortium theory claims that Paulicivic can no longer work and function as a wife. This is lovingly known as the “loss of sex” cause of action and is actually a complaint alleged by Paulicivic’s husband. Complaints become very cold when describing “wifely duties” and this one is no different. According to this complaint, prior to the injuries Paulicivic “did perform her duties as a wife and spouse” and subsequent to the injuries “has been unable to perform such work and services.” I guess we just have to read between the lines
So how much is wife sex worth to a husband? $1,000,000 was the figure calculated per encounter in Indecent Proposal, but that was before the time Demi Moore gave up her body for free on Twitter. The figure could easily be figured out in places where prostitution is legal. Simply ask the local providers their rate per encounter and multiply this by a predetermined frequency, and there you have it! Unfortunately, this isn’t as easy in California.
Furthermore, it seems that any case involving a loss of consortium involves a couple who was madlessly in love previous to the injuries, and afterwards can’t stand one another. There’s a compelling monetary reason for lying about the level of love between a husband and wife previous to injuries which has resulted in some jurisdictions placing caps on loss on consortium claims. However, these caps are often in the hundreds of thousands.
So what do you all think, what’s the best way to calculate these damages? Should they even be recoverable? Should there be a cap on these claims, or is each case too personal to cast a general limit?
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