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Wrongful Pregnancy Lawsuit Filed After Botched Tubal Ligation

The term birth injury often brings to mind an injury such as shoulder dystocia, cerebral palsy, hypoxia, brain injury, brachial plexus injury, neurological disorder or other harm caused around the time of the baby’s birth. What if the conception itself is the injury?In a recent case, a couple found out that they were pregnant when it shouldn’t have been possible. It was a surgical error that led to the conception that ultimately became the basis of a wrongful pregnancy lawsuit.The two parents in this case already had a young son that had been diagnosed with the hereditary disease known as sickle cell anemia. This disease results in health complications that often lower the lifespan of the individual.These two parents knew that the chances of having another child with sickle cell anemia were high, and so the wife underwent a sterilization procedure. Only a year later, the wife received the shocking news that she was pregnant. One of her fallopian tubes was still intact.The reason why this couple chose to have the wife undergo a mini-laparotomy and tubal ligation was to prevent having a second child born with sickle cell anemia, but that is exactly what happened.This couple filed a lawsuit in Illinois, seeking not only compensatory damages related to the specific incident, but extraordinary expenses as well. The expenses related to the botched procedure and resulting pregnancy includes, but is not limited to, costs of the procedure and delivery, pregnancy complications and pain and suffering.The extraordinary expenses would compensate the family for the increased costs of caring for a child with the condition until the age of majority. Under this jurisdiction and these circumstances, an appeals panel ruled on an interlocutory review that the family was allowed to proceed with a request for these extraordinary damages.Laws and precedent relating to damages for medical malpractice cases differ from one state to another. For families that have suffered a medical malpractice injury in Harrisburg, a discussion with an attorney can help them determine whether they may have a claim and what possible damages may be sought.Source: The Cook County Record, “Panel: parents in wrongful pregnancy suit may seek extraordinary expenses,” Kenneth Lowe, March 3, 2014

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