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Couple awarded $2.9 million for hospital’s failure to diagnose

Mar 19, 2012 | Failure to Diagnose

People in New York City and beyond rely on their doctors to give them a proper diagnosis. The same goes for their unborn children. Recently, one family was awarded $2.9 million from a hospital after they failed to diagnose a couple’s baby with a life-changing condition.

The couple already had two healthy children. At age 34 the wife found out that she was pregnant for a third time. At that age, 1 in 250 women will give birth to a baby with Down syndrome. However, a test determined that the mother was at an even higher risk for delivering a baby with the genetic condition.

The couple decided to have their baby tested for Down syndrome. The mother went in for a standard test called the chorionic villus sampling. Fortunately, the test showed that the couple’s baby was healthy. However, the couple would find out months later that the test was wrong.

A week after the baby was born doctors told the couple that their daughter had Down syndrome. According to the lawsuit, the doctor took a sampling of the wrong kind of tissue during the chorionic villus sampling test.

Although the couple loves their now 4-year-old daughter, they say they likely would have terminated the pregnancy if the test had shown that the baby did in fact have Down syndrome.

The couple originally sought $7 million from the hospital to cover their daughter’s care for her entire life. On Mar. 9, the couple was awarded $2.9 million.

People rely on their physicians to give them an accurate diagnosis. People make plans around the information they are given. When that information is wrong, it can completely alter a family’s life.

Source: New York Daily News, "Parents win $2.9M for ‘wrongful birth’," Meena Hart Duerson, Mar. 11, 2012