A wrongful birth lawsuit is a type of medical malpractice where mother, who gives birth to a child who has a disease or disability, files a lawsuit. The disability is not one that occurs during labor and delivery, as it is in wrongful death cases. Doctors are not liable as they fully informed the parents about the degree of the child’s injury. Parents of children born with birth defects or diseases can sue the hospital or a healthcare professional in wrongful birth lawsuits. Parents can also file a claim if genetic counseling misled them about the chances of a fetus developing abnormally.
Essential Factual Elements of Wrongful Birth
The California Supreme Court recognized the following general factors of a wrongful birth claim: the doctor failed to inform new parents the danger of having a child with a genetic or anatomical condition; the doctor’s negligence caused the injury.
According to CACI 512 to establish this claim of a wrongful birth, the plaintiff must be able to establish the following elements:
- The defendant negligently failed to diagnose or warn the plaintiff of the risk that the child would be born with a genetic impairment or disability
- The defendant negligently failed to perform appropriate tests or advise tests to the plaintiff
- The child was born with a genetic impairment or disability
- The plaintiff had known of the genetic impairment or disability; the mother would not have conceived the child or would not have carried the fetus to term
- Due to the defendant’s negligence, plaintiff will need to pay extraordinary expenses to care for the child.
When Can You File a Wrongful Birth Lawsuit?
In their accusations, some families claim that a qualified doctor misdiagnosed their kid before birth. Others accuse genetic counselors of underestimating the risk of a child developing abnormally inside the womb. This is a common accusation when one of the child’s parents has a hereditary genetic disorder.
Usually, the lawsuits are filed following the birth of a child with Down Syndrome, cystic fibrosis, holoprosencephaly, or spina bifida. These injuries are often detectable by sonogram and ultrasound or by some sort of lab test. The lab technician, ultrasound operator or radiologist must observe the child’s condition and inform the obstetrician, who must notify the parents. After that the parents can decide whether they want to continue on with the pregnancy.
Wrongful Birth Suit Damages
Parents who properly litigate for wrongful birth may be granted monetary damages to help defray the costs of caring for a kid with birth abnormalities.
In wrongful birth cases, parents can be entitled to a financial compensation to cover items such as:
- Medical costs of caring for a child with a serious birth defect or disease
- Costs of tuition for special schools for children with different disabilities.
- Emotional distress experienced the parents in living with the child’s birth defect or disease
This financial compensation is not aimed to cover the costs related to the raising of a child. It will only cover the costs that are specific to child born with a birth defect or disease.
Glendale Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been harmed as the result of another’s negligence, then you may be entitled to compensation. If that is the case, contact our Glendale personal injury lawyer today for a consultation and case review. A wrongful life lawsuit is an extremely complex legal process in which plaintiffs are suing doctors who allegedly failed to inform them about birth defects in their unborn child before they gave consent for the pregnancy to continue. Please feel free to give our office a call at 310.943.1171.