Many couples deciding that they would like to start a family realize that they need medical professional help to do so. Fertility clinics have grown in number, leading to what some news outlets have called a “fertility boom.” One advantage of using a fertility clinic is that medical professionals can conduct genetic testing to determine the presence of certain diseases and disorders. However, a recent lawsuit against a Syracuse fertility clinic shows that a failure to conduct certain genetic testing, requested by the patients, could be medical malpractice in New York State.
The jury in the New York Supreme Court of Schenectady County recently awarded a $7.5 million verdict in a New York medical malpractice lawsuit against a Syracuse fertility clinic. The couple alleged that the fertility clinic acted negligently when it failed to perform a crucial genetic test. The couple’s daughter was born in 2011 with cystic fibrosis, a disease that is a genetic disorder that affects the lungs.
The services contract with the fertility clinic included a cystic fibrosis genetic marker test, and it required the fertility clinic to inform the couple of the results before implantation. The plaintiffs alleged that the fertility clinic never performed the test and sought damages to support their daughter’s care.
The jury found the fertility clinic negligent and awarded the plaintiffs damages in the amount of $7.5 million. The judge upheld the award of damages in a ruling issued last month. The damages were aimed at providing compensation to the child’s mother. She quit her job as a teacher to be at home and care for her daughter’s needs full time. Of the award, $2.2 million was allocated for that amount. In addition, another $2.1 million was awarded to pay for cystic fibrosis medication that slows the progress of the disease. The damages are calculated for the girl’s life until she turns 21.
The fertility clinic challenged the amounts of the verdict, but the judge rejected the challenges, finding that the jury’s award was supported by the evidence at trial. The court, however, will allow an additional hearing to have the fertility clinic argue that future expenses may be paid by insurance, which would reduce the amount owed to the plaintiffs by the fertility clinic.
This verdict shows that even as new medical technology allows cutting-edge procedures to take place, medical professionals are still required to perform tests and procedures in accordance with their profession’s established standard of care.
Regardless of the cause and nature of your child’s birth injury, you owe it to yourself and your family to seek legal representation. We handle birth injury and wrongful death cases involving negligent prenatal care, obstetric errors, labor complications, and birth delivery trauma. To speak with a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer about your case, call DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers at 315-479-9000 or contact us online. We offer evening and weekend appointments, as well as home and hospital visits.
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