The Ultimate Subrogation Contract: Man Sues Neighbor for Failure to Impregnate Wife

180px-uniformcommercialcodeIt is well-known that, as a Torts professor, I have made my share of anti-contracts statements — part of a long-standing feud between common law Torts and Contracts faculty. However, to make up for decades of badmouthing contracts, I give you a really interesting contracts case worthy of . . . well . . . a torts class. In Stuttgart, Germany, Demetrius Soupolos, 29, is suing his neighbor Frank Maus, 34, for breach of contract. It seems that Soupolos hired Maus for $2500 to impregnate his wife, a former beauty queen named Traute, but to his surprise Maus desperately tried 72 times without success.

Soupolos hired Maus when he found out that he was sterile and realized that Maus not only had two children but looked remarkably like him. Maus tried and tried for three evenings a week for the next six months. When Maus’ wife objected, he explained I don’t like this any more than you. I’m simply doing it for the money. Try and understand.”

The efforts, however, proved fruitless that there did not appear to be an acceleration clause in this particular sexual subrogation contract.

Just for the record, this could have been brought as a torts action under fraud and battery charges in the United States. Indeed, if this was not a “casual seller,” it could have been brought under product liability.

It turns out that she understood all too well. After the failure to fulfill the contract, Soupolos insisted on a medical exam which found that Maus was also sterile. It turns out that his two kids (unbeknownst to him) were the product of an affair of his wife with another man (who should have been contractor on this job).

It does not appear that this contract had a force majeure clause for such an act of God.

To paraphrase Shakespeare, Default, my dear Maus, is not the sex the but in yourself.

For the story, click here.

18 thoughts on “The Ultimate Subrogation Contract: Man Sues Neighbor for Failure to Impregnate Wife”

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  2. Again, I am offering my services for free. Depending on the “Beauty Queen” I might even spring for dinner.

    Was this a Bi-Lateral Contract between the men and the woman was the third party intended beneficiary?

    I wonder wonder why?

    But then again what was that dang Canadian cows name, the one that was supposed to be sterile?

  3. “Just for the record, this could have been brought as a torts action under fraud and battery charges in the United States.”


    Per Fraud, not a chance:

    “The doctor’s announcement that Maus was sterile shocked everyone except his wife, who was forced to confess that Maus was not the real father of their children.”

    Per Battery:

    Where does the story so much as imply that Mrs. Soupolos, while possibly expressing unease at first, refused her consent?

  4. On the failure to perform if the guy gave it the old college try is he obligated? This also sounds like a latent defect, he did not know he was shooting blanks. Can a consumer recover from the seller if the seller dosent know the item was defective? Isnt this a case of caveat humpedher?

  5. rafflaw,

    I’m not hostile. Sorry, if I came across as such. Maybe my previous lacked a smiley or two.

    The thing I tried to add is that the case in the link that Prof. Turley presented, i.e. if Maus is liable to return his pay, is trivially easy in German law:

    – it’s a Dienstvertrag (service contract), not a Werksvertrag (creation contract)
    – it is impossible for him to render the service (i.e. impregnate Traute), so both the service (BGB §275) and the remuneration (BGB §326) are rescinded.

    Which link?

  6. I do a lot of volunteer work, but missed this opportunity to serve. I’d be happy to take a makeup test as a gesture.

  7. Berliner,
    I thought you said this story was a joke. I can see you are in a hostile mood since my comment about it being a good law school exam question really set you off. I finished my law school exams in 1982 so I don’t need to read your link, but I will still state that the facts sound just like one of the unusual fact patterns that my law school professors seemed to enjoy.

  8. More importantly, I want to know if Prof Turley has completely read the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) and/or—if in fact—he has contributed to the manual’s voluminous legal language under the auspices of the Uniform Law Commission (ULC).

  9. I with you on this Mespo.

    To me, this sounds like a story line for a Jerry Springer episode~

  10. @rafflaw: Oh, what an easy exam. The main question (refund of the money – yes) is answered simply by reading BGB §326.

  11. Whether it is real or an old April Fools Joke is not important. It is a funny story and Buddha said it best when he said it sounded like a Torts exam question. I just want to know where do you go to find jobs like the one Maus had? I guess we can’t call him “Might Maus” due to his failures to satisfy his contractual obligations.

  12. Exhibit A: There are exactly zero google hits in German for this story.
    Exhibit B: None of the four courts in Stuttgart has a press release on that story.
    Exhibit C: The English version of this story appeared on or around the 1st of April.

    It’s an Aprils Fool joke.

    But I really wonder if the author of that joke based this on the rather unusual “paternity cases” Stuttgart courts had to trial (i.e. the “sex auction paternity” and “identical twins paternity” cases), of if that’s a coincidence.

  13. Mespo has probably outlined the legal aspects of this story quite well and succinctly. As for me, I just think it’s hilareous. I can hear the dialogue now:

    Herr Maus: I don’t understand why you’re not getting pregnant, Frau Soupolos. Perhaps we should try the washing machine or the kitchen table.

    Frau Soupolos: Ya! Ya! Sehr gudt. Und in der basement und der garten und on a weekend away und….

  14. I think a couple of legal maxims apply here:

    A naked agreement does not beget an obligation.
    – Broom’s Legal Maxims

    He who does a thing by an agent is considered as doing it himself.
    – Broom’s Legal Maxims

    Thus, I predict the Plaintiff will lose, and give the defendant some credit, his incessant sex with a beauty queen was almost certainly a trying affair.

  15. lol

    Yeah, this sounds like a Torts exam question for certain.

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