Thursday, February 24, 2005

Court rules ejaculate is a gift

Six years ago Dr. Sharon Irons performed fellatio on Dr. Richard Phillips and kept his sperm without his knowledge. She then used the semen to get pregnant, again without Dr. Phillips' knowledge. Two years later she filed a paternity lawsuit against him. After DNA tests confirmed Phillips was the father, he was ordered to pay $800 a month in child support.

Dr. Phillips filed a lawsuit against Dr. Irons, claiming fraud and theft, but a judge dismissed the claims. An appellate court has now upheld the lower court's ruling regarding the fraud and theft charges, saying "that when plaintiff 'delivered' his sperm, it was a gift - an absolute and irrevocable transfer of title to property from a donor to a donee" and "There was no agreement that the original deposit would be returned upon request."

The appeals court did rule that Dr. Phillips can press a claim for emotional distress, so the case will return now to the lower court.


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