145 Cal.App.3d 369 (1983).
One-Sentence Takeaway: Where consent is obtained by a misrepresentation, that misrepresentation could convert a consensual touching into a battery.
Summary: The plaintiff at first insisted on condom use to prevent pregnancy before having sex with the defendant, but after the defendant assured her he “couldn’t possibly get anyone pregnant,” she acquiesced. The defendant’s representation was false, and the plaintiff suffered an ectopic pregnancy, which she had to undergo surgery to resolve. While the surgery saved her life, it also left her sterile.
The court held that the plaintiff had stated a cause of action for sexual battery because her consent to the intercourse was fraudulently induced.
The defendant further argued that plaintiff’s claims were barred by public policy considerations underlying Civil Code § 43.51 because “seduction” cases are fruitful sources of fraud and extortion. The court refused to find that § 43.5 barred plaintiff’s action, stating that “the fear of unfounded or fraudulent claims is not a valid reason for disallowing a tort action predicated upon a meritorious claim.”
1. California Civil Code section 43.5 provides in relevant part that, “No cause of action arises for . . . (c) Seduction of a person over the age of legal consent.”