Hawkins v.

1929- Supreme Court of New Hampshire

I. Facts
A. Parties
1. P=Hawkins
2. D=Mcgee
B. Relevant Events
1. George burns hand at age 11 on damaged wire.
2. Doctors in Montreal advised the family against doing anything to
restore the hand
3. For three years, family doctor McGee tries to convince the family to
allow him to operate on Hawkins’ hand. In doing so he claims to
be able to restore it to “perfect condition.”
4. McGee also claims that the operation will be quick and simple, and
Hawkins will only be hospitalized for “three or four days… not
over four.” Hawkins was hospitalized for longer.
5. Hawkins hand was crippled after the operation.
6. Hawkins sues McGee for damages for breach of contract.
7. McGee moves to set aside verdict claiming damages awarded by the
jury were excessive. Court found damages excessive and ordered
that the verdict be set aside unless the plaintiff remit all in excess of
$500. Plaintiff refuses to remit, verdict set aside, plaintiff
II. Issues
A. What damages should the plaintiff receive?
B. Is the promise of a 100% perfect hand a contract?

III. Holding
A. Plaintiff is due expectation interest, that is he is owed the difference between
the value of a good or perfect hand and the value of the hand in its current
B. Plaintiff not entitled to anything for pain and suffering bc it is expected when
agreeing to undergo surgery of any kind.