Earlier this year, an appellate court in Iowa issued a written opinion in a medical malpractice case discussing the interesting topic of whether a plaintiff should be permitted to bring a medical malpractice case seeking compensation for the wrongful birth of a child. Ultimately, after surveying the laws of other states and taking into account the evolution of medical care, the court concluded that the plaintiff couple should be permitted to bring the lawsuit.
The Facts of the Case
The plaintiffs were expecting a baby boy. The defendants were several doctors who had provided the plaintiffs with pre-natal medical care throughout the pregnancy. A few months into the plaintiff-wife’s pregnancy, an ultrasound was performed with one of the defendant doctors reviewing the results.
The ultrasound indicated that the couple’s unborn son had a small head. Specifically, the circumference of the baby’s head was within the third-to-sixth percentile. However, that was never made known to the plaintiffs, and no further tests were performed.
A few months later, the plaintiff-wife gave birth to the couple’s son. Initially, the couple noticed that the baby’s movement was odd and that he was staring more often than normal. The couple took their son to the doctor a few months later, and it was discovered that the boy had a small corpus callosum, which is a band of nerve fibers connecting the brain’s two hemispheres. As a result, the young boy suffers from cerebral palsy, microcephaly, intellectual disability, cortical visual impairment, and a seizure disorder.
The parents brought a lawsuit against the defendant doctors as well as the medical practice where the care was provided. The couple alleged that the failure to provide them with notice of the abnormal results of the ultrasound prevented them from making an informed decision about whether they wanted to terminate the pregnancy. The couple stated that, had they been made aware of the risks involved, they would have terminated the pregnancy.
Prior to this case, Iowa courts did not allow wrongful birth lawsuits. However, the court considered the evolution of medical care and looked at the several other states that recognize this type of claim. Ultimately, the court determined that the plaintiff should be permitted to proceed with their lawsuit.
Florida Wrongful Birth Claims
In Florida, wrongful birth claims have been permitted since 1992. Successful plaintiffs can recover damages for the costs of raising the child as well as compensation for their own emotional distress.
Have You Given Birth to a Severely Disabled Child Without a Warning from Your Physician?
If you have recently given birth to a child who suffers from a severe, life-altering disability, and you were unaware of the risks involved, you may be entitled to monetary compensation through a Florida wrongful birth lawsuit. The skilled medical malpractice attorneys at the South Florida personal injury and medical malpractice law firm of Friedman, Rodman & Frank have extensive experience representing clients in a wide range of medical malpractice cases, and we know what it takes to be successful in Florida courts. Call 877-448-8585 to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated South Florida medical malpractice attorney today.
More Blog Posts:
Errant Golf Ball Strikes Baby in Stroller on Nearby City-Owned Walking Path, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published June 5, 2017.
Who Is Responsible in Florida When Someone Causes an Accident Using a Borrowed or Stolen Car?, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published June 19, 2017.