August 27, 2014
The parents of a infant girl filed a wrongful death lawsuit this month after their baby stopped developing normally. The parents, who wish to keep their name private, underwent to an amniocentesis to determine of their daughter was carrying Syndrome Z, and were told after test results that their baby would not be symptomatic.
According to reports, the infant’s father carries the Syndrome Z, a rare disorder marked by insulin resistance, elevated blood fats, and hypertension. As a result, the mom wanted to be sure that the infant would not inherit the disease, and in turn testing was performed. According to both parents, if their infant had tested positive for the disorder, they would have went through an elective abortion.
At the time, the father’s mother had recently passed away and the couple was going through a tumultuous period. They both agreed that having a child with severe medical issues would not be in their best interest. Yet, when they were told that although the baby was a carrier of the disorder, she was not symptomatic, they carried on with the pregnancy.
Six months later, the infant, who had been growing and thriving normally, started to slow down in development, missing milestones. She couldn’t sit up or crawl, and the pediatrician was concerned that her head was too small for her size, indicating that her brain may not be growing correctly.
Shortly after, the couple said they went through several physicians, attempting to get a diagnosis for their baby, and according to the mother, the experience was distressful, as they weren’t given a proper diagnosis.
However, one of the physicians recommended a genetic specialist, and once the parents took their baby in for testing, they soon discovered that she has Syndrome Z. Per the lawsuit, the person who called initially called the parents, after the amniocentesis results were available, made a mistake and read the wrong results. The obstetrician in charge of the amniocentesis admitted that a mistake was made in communication, and is in the process of negotiating a settlement with the couples’ attorney.
A wrongful birth lawsuit is filed when a physician fails to notify parents or guardians of any abnormalities found during prenatal screenings. There are currently only 25 states in the nation that support these types of cases. However, several previous wrongful birth lawsuits have proven successful. According to the Palm Beach Post, a Florida couple won $4.5 million after a physician failed to properly inform them of their infant’s abnormalities. As a result, the baby was born with no arms. ABC reports that an Oregon couple who filed a wrongful birth lawsuit in 2012 was awarded $2.9 million. Their baby was born with Down syndrome, yet physicians misdiagnosed the disorder after prenatal screenings.