$1 Million Settlement for “Right to Terminate” Case
- Date: Spring 1995
- Settlement: $1 Million
- Practice Areas: Medical Malpractice, Failure to Diagnose, Prenatal Care, Wrongful Birth
This lawsuit involved the controversial issue of a Mother’s “right to terminate a pregnancy” when she learns that she will give birth to a child with birth defects – in this case a child born with Down Syndrome in 1990.
The firm characterized the case as a “wrongful birth lawsuit.” Medical negligence deprived the parents of exercising all the options available to them regarding the extra-ordinary medical therapy and emotional distress of a Down Syndrome child.
The Mother’s OB/GYN forgot to recommend pre-natal screening tests during the time when the tests would have detected the birth defect. The child’s Mother asked for the tests, but the Doctor did not recommend the standard Alpha Feta Protein (AFP) test at the appropriate time.
In addition to the parents’ emotional suffering, the future holds many therapeutic expenses, possibly institutionalizing the child and the fact that Down Syndrome children also have a propensity to develop childhood Leukemia. The firm settled the case for $1 million.