Hawkins v. McGee

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Hawkins v. McGee
Court Supreme Court of New Hampshire
Citation 84 N.H. 114, 146 A. 641 (1929)
Date decided 1929

Facts: Defendant Dr. McGee promised Plaintiff Hawkins that his hand would be a "one hundred percent good hand" after a skin graft operation. The hand was unsatisfactory after the operation (it became covered in hair).

Procedural History: The jury was instructed to award damages based on restitution damages (the difference between Hawkin's prior hand and his now-hairy hand).

Issue: Was what the Dr. said really a promise? Were the instructions to the Jury proper?

Holding: Yes, it was part of a valid contract. No, jury instructions were improper.

Reasons: The jury instructions should have specified expectation damages (the difference between a perfect hand as promised and the actual condition of the hand).

Judgment: New trial ordered.