Mom in wrongful birth case seeks over $14.5 million in expenses

Friday February 5, 2016

A woman has filed a lawsuit against a clinic, doctor and nurse practitioner for not diagnosing cystic fibrosis in her daughter before she was born.

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder in which both parents must be carriers in order for a child to be born with it. This inherited disease damages the digestive system and the lungs through a gene that causes an irregular type of mucus to be secreted. Normally the mucus is slippery and thin, but, instead, the secretions are a sticky, thick fluid. An attorney for the defense said that people with the disease have a life expectancy of almost 40 and that “It’s far from the death sentence or life not worth living that some would have you believe.”

The plaintiff is seeking almost $14.5 million in damages, $10 million of which is for her daughter’s medical care and treatment, as well as her psychological care. The wrongful birth case is not allowed in 12 states because of the struggle it brings to medical ethics. The woman says that had she known her daughter had the disease, she might have had an abortion.

The defendants’ attorneys said that the woman did not ask questions about cystic fibrosis — only about Down’s syndrome. She also did not have genetic counseling. The plaintiff’s attorney told a jury that the doctor didn’t ask if the woman had genetic counseling.

The woman’s child is currently in school, in gymnastics and has had the recommended medical treatment and care.

Last fall, an appeals court in Washington state upheld a verdict from the lower court in a case where a couple’s son had a genetic disorder that resulted in severe birth defects. The parents had requested that their unborn child be screened for it, but mistakes in the lab ended up causing the parents to receive the wrong information. In another appeals court last month — this time in Oregon — a ruling was given that will allow the parents of two children who have muscular dystrophy to move forward with their lawsuit. They said they would not have had a second child had the oldest one been diagnosed sooner.

If you believe that the actions of your doctor, medical staff or others are responsible for injury to you, your baby or other loved one in Connecticut, seeking compensation may be the answer you need. A lawyer can provide you with more information.

Source: ctpost.com, “Mom seeks medical expenses for child with cystic fibrosis,” Amy Beth Hanson, AP, Feb. 04, 2016

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