A wrongful birth medical malpractice case alleges that a heath care provider such as a doctor (such as an OBGYN or radiologist), hospital or laboratory was negligent by failing to properly inform a pregnant mother that her fetus had some serious medical condition, so that the mother would have had an opportunity to terminate the pregnancy.
One type of wrongful birth claim involves the failure of an obstetrician or lab to properly report a positive blood test called a quadruple screen, which screens for a number of prenatal abnormalities such as Down Syndrome. Another type of wrongful birth claim involves the failure of a radiologist to properly report that a sonogram shows Spina Bifida or certain markers, sometimes called hard and soft markers, for Down Syndrome.
Most states, like Maryland and the District of Columbia have recognized the ability of a mother to bring a wrongful birth medical malpractice claim. Usually, the mother is allowed to claim the extraordinary cost of raising the child which, for a child with Down Syndrome, can be millions and millions of dollars.
In some states, the mother’s damages may be limited to the time-frame between the child’s birth and the child’s majority. But in many states, including Maryland and the District of Columbia, a statute (in Maryland) and a court decision (in the District of Columbia) compel parents to care for their adult children with disabilities if possible, which allow the mother to claim the mother’s extraordinary cost of raising the child many years beyond the child’s 18th birthday.
Over the years, I have successfully handled a number of wrongful birth cases. All but one of those cases settled, and the one that did not settle I tried and won a $7.6 million verdict.
Wrongful birth cases are some of the most complicated medical malpractice cases that exist. The lawyer must retain multiple experts in fields as diverse as obstetrics, radiology, life care planning, economics, etc. There is a definite benefit to hiring a lawyer who has led and won the trial of such a case.