Lawsuits against medical professionals and facilities for wrongful deaths of patients are not uncommon in California. However, wrongful birth or wrongful life lawsuits are quite unique. In a recent medical malpractice claim against a Long Beach medical center and a doctor, those are exactly the alleged claims.
According to the complaint, the couple who filed the lawsuit started seeing the doctor for prenatal care in Nov. 2013. The plaintiffs contend that the OB/GYN was asked to run tests for genetic disorders — and specifically cystic fibrosis, which was requested in writing. Although blood was drawn, it is alleged that the doctor either failed to order the screenings or failed to inform the plaintiffs of the results. The couple stated that they asked for these screenings early in the pregnancy because their financial situation would not allow them to care for a child with a congenital disease.
Court documents show that after their son’s birth in Sept. 2014, he was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. The plaintiffs contend that had they been informed of the test results, the fetus could have been tested. This would have allowed them the choice of abortion. The couple claims an unspecified amount of damages in order to provide funds for the lifelong care and medical expenses of their child.
The defendants in this case are accused of negligent prenatal care that led to the wrongful birth. California residents who suspect that they are suffering the consequences of medical negligence or errors may want to consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney before taking any legal action. A lawyer can assess the allegations to determine the viability of a claim and assist in obtaining substantiating documentation and medical records. Once viability is established, an attorney can provide guidance and support throughout the legal proceedings that may follow.
Source: ocweekly.com, “You’ve Heard of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit But a Wrongful Life Lawsuit?“, Matt Coke, Dec. 7, 2015