Was the Plaintiff in Hawkins v. McGee Master of His Domain?

–From Jon Avery, Georgia State University College of Law, Date of event: 2006

I, like every other 1L, got to take Contracts. And, like every other 1L in Contracts, we studied Hawkins v. McGee, aka the “hairy hand case.”

Someone asked the professor, “How do we know it was the surgery that caused the palm of the hand to be hairy? The guy could have genes that gave him a hairy palm, right?”

The professor responded, rhetorically, by asking, “What is the first thing we should ask when trying to determine whether the surgery caused the hairy palm?” The professor apparently was trying to get the student to think about what part of the body the skin was taken from to graft to the palm.

The inquiring student sat open-mouthed, unable to think of an explanation when someone in the back piped up: “Was he blind, too?”

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Andrew Jay McClurg is a law professor whose teaching and research interests include tort law, products liability, legal education, privacy law and firearms policy. He holds the Herbert Herff Chair of Excellence in Law at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.
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