Parents win wrongful birth suit over their Down Syndrome baby

$2.9M awarded to parents of girl born with Down syndrome

KOMO News:  (Portland, OR) The parents of a child who was born with Down syndrome have been awarded $2.9 million in a wrongful birth suit filed against the hospital Legacy Health.  Jurors ruled the hospital showed negligence when doctors told Ariel and Debora Levy their unborn baby would not suffer from Down syndrome.

The Levys said their decision to move forward with the pregnancy had been based on this information, and argued the doctors had been “negligent in their performance, analysis and reporting” of test results.  The Levys’ child, a girl, is now 4 years old.

It’s been difficult for them,” said David K. Miller, the Levys’ lawyer. “There’s been a lot of misinformation out there.”  Miller said the point of the case is not whether the Levys would have terminated the pregnancy if they had known their unborn baby would be born with Down syndrome. Rather, the case aims to hold Legacy accountable for having failed to properly process the screening test.

“These are parents who love this little girl very, very much,” Miller said. “Their mission, since the beggining, was to provide for her, and that’s what this is all about.”  Miller said he was confident the jury awareded the Levys the right amount – $2.9 million. The hospital, however, disagreed.

“While Legacy Health has great respect for the judicial process, we are disappointed in today`s verdict,” Legacy spokesman Brian Terrett said in a prepared statment. “The legal team from Legacy Health will be reviewing the record and considering available options. Given this, we believe that further comment at this point would not be appropriate.”

The case brought up broader questions regarding genetic testing. Patricia Backlar, professor of biomedical ethics, said she believes genetic testing is helpful for expecting parents.  “If they want to have prenatal testing, it means they have some worries or the clinician has some worries,” she said. “You want to make sure you’re prepared as well as you can be in case something is awry.”

But she said, like anything, errors are inevitable.

“Not doing harm is of great importance to most clinicians, because that’s why they have gone into the profession,” she said. “The reading of some of these tests can be complex.”

The Northwest Down Syndrome Association said regardless of parents’ final decisions, they usually deserve more information than they’re getting now.  What life is like for having a child with Down syndrome at the same time there’s a huge increase in testing but no huge increase in good information on what life can be like,” said Angela Jarvis-Holland.

The parents of the child did not want to comment because they were worried about the backlash they could get over such a controversial topic.

I’ve never had a child so I cannot comment based on a personal experience.  I do believe that if I were to become pregnant I would have testing done – I’m a little advanced in years for child-bearing :)  Yet I doubt I would sue if I ended up having a Down syndrome baby and a test didn’t reveal that information.  Not every test nor every doctor is 100% accurate at all times.

Let’s just hope that this money is used to provide the best care possible for this child and not used in a frivolous manner. 

DCG

18 responses to “Parents win wrongful birth suit over their Down Syndrome baby

  1. So what’s next, parents of any child that is not ‘born perfect’ will sue for millions? It is not as if the child was damaged in birthing. I respect Sarah Palin’s attitude toward her child that he has been a blessing to their family.
    I hope the child is well loved considering the parents.

  2. “Wrongful Birth” is an appalling concept that should be given no legal merit.

  3. This lawsuit is appalling and exemplifies everything that is wrong in our society. That beautiful little girl is a blessing. For her parents to sue the hospital is despicable. This represents a society that thinks everything should be handed to them and they deserve compensation. The world is not perfect nor should it be. My son was multiply handicapped and he died when he was six years old. If I had had the test for down syndrome, his genetic defect would not have shown up though it was obviously more severe than Downs. Preserving my son’ s life and providing for him was my goal. Suing for compensation would have been the last thing on my mind. The lawyer states that the parents love her and I say not enough!

  4. I have a lot of brothers and sisters and my little brother has Down Syndrome.

    This story reminds me of a case I heard of where an oral surgeon failed to warn his patient that antibiotics would interfere with her birth control. She got pregnant and sued and the judge ordered the oral surgeon to pay her child support til the kid turned 18…and he didn’t even get any *fun* out of it like most men who pay child support!

  5. Thank you. My little one was very special. I know that he is in heaven since he was pure love. He was not able to walk or talk but his one skill was loving the people around him and that he did perfectly. We knew his diagnosis and poor prognosis when he was a year old and my husband and I knew that from that day forward we would just love him and enable him to be all that he could be, no more and no less.

  6. I believe that this little girl should probly get an attorney hired for herself — then sue her parents for “wrongful procreation”. They shouldn’t have had sex if they didn’t realize that not all babies are born in the same state of Adam and Eve before the fall. Also, the child’s attorney should sue her grandparents as well as the doctor who allowed her grandparents to give birth to her parents. Their intelligence is clearly well below an acceptable level. And she shouldn’t have had to be born of such morons procreating, perhaps. Then, all the money these parents “got” — she can get back — with some poetic justice.

  7. Victoria Jean Christine Bingham

    Words cannot describe how disgusting Ariel and Debora Levy are. Their child deserves better parents. To be able to rue missing the chance to kill their little girl!? Unspeakable. Unfathomable. They are Monsters. And by suing the hospital they are in effect setting other babies up to be dispatched more often to protect the hospital’s interests. Have they never heard of ADOPTION? Where are the child protective agencies? This child needs to be removed from the reluctant parents IMMEDIATELY. God help us!

  8. It bothers us the amount of people who abort their baby to begin with. Now to say they would abort there baby if they new their child would have been born with a special need….. and then saying that this case was . “Their mission, since the beggining, was to provide for her, and that’s what this is all about.”. Disgusting

  9. I am literally in tears! My heart hurts for this child of God. The saddest thing I have read in a long long time and there is a lot of sad things out there. I pray that God gives her extra Guardian Angels! I know that He has His own hand protecting this precious gift! It’s too bad that they are over looking such a precious blessing!

  10. Dennis H. Bennett

    “Make ‘em pay” is just another form of Obomania where the “rich” must “pay”, somehow, someway….after all, they “OWE” it to us! The parents, attorneys, supporting “experts” and enabling jurors mar the beauty of this child with greed and revenge There is no “justice” here, only the use of a child of God for personal gain How degrading to the beauty of Creation and God’s love for us.

    • Dennis H. Bennett

      I agree, great post. And from a Biblical view, there is little room for grace when “the law” demands perfection.

  11. In the Nordic countries, the tax payers money is used to support medical students, hospitals and all handicapped children. Strange how in the USA taxes are used to drop bombs on other countries (Lybia and Iraq, which never invaded or attached the USA, killing many innocent women and children), but not used to care for the disabled, handicapped, etc. Almost as bad as Nazi Germany. And who prevented Obama from offering a Nordic type carecare plan: One Senator who made the Nordic Option be removed to give the PRIVATE INSURANCE companies NO NORDIC Competition. And who was the Senator, the MAN with the Power to Destroy a Super Healthcare plan for ALL AMERICANs. Note in the UK and Denmark, EVERYONE is Covered, not just American Citizens. No Taxation with representation and health coverage. The foreigners in the USA should pay ZERO tax, since they have no representation in the USA Congress. They need to do to the USA which the Colonists did to King George. No taxation without representation. And the current Congress is charging the Foreigners in the USA much more in TAX than King George and the British ever did. Wath the Patroit with Mel Gibson, and see his response to fighting the British. He was right with respect to the TAXES the Leaders who demand from NOT only the American people, citizens, but also from all immigrants and foreigenrs, WHO WOULD have no representation. NEED a USA Constituional Amendment to make it ILLEGAL for Congress to charge any INCOME TAX for foreigenrs and permanent residents who do not have the RIGHT to VOTE. Note Right to Vote, means NO RIGHT (or Responsibility) to pay taxes!!

    And use tax money to provide UNIVERSAL Health Care to Everyone living in the USA like they do in the UK, Denmark and Sweden. Three countries with NO DEATH Penalty, Universal Health Care and much lower crime rates and prison populations than the USA. The USA is NOW a Heathen country. In much worse shape than it was when the Europeans INVADED and Occuppied, and stole the land from the Native Indigenous Inhabitants of North America. Reason why the USA supports the Chinese occupation of Tibet, is BECAUSE they are THEMSELVES occupiers of the Amerian and Mexican lands which they stole from the Native Americans and Mexicans. Will God bless such a country and its people? ABSOLUTELY NOT.

    • Thanks for stopping by to share your enlightened opinion. Please stay in Denmark, we don’t need anymore socialists here in the U.S.

    • Why don’t you mind your own business? Don’t Australia and Denmark (you call yourself an Aussie but you’re in Denmark) have enough problems of their own for you to meddle in?

      But then the Left, being the arrogant anal cavities that you are, think you have the right and the wisdom to lecture down to other people. You have neither. Why don’t you instead undertake some critical self-examination about the COLOSSAL disasters wherever Marxist socialism has been implemented in the 20th century? — beginning with the hundreds of millions of people who lost their lives in the Soviet Union, People’s Republic of China, the psychopathic Khmer Rouge’s Cambodia, North Korea, ad nauseam.

  12. Aussie~
    When you say “foreigners” do you mean ppl living in America that are not citizens? If they want representation in OUR government, assuming that is who you are rambling about, then like everyone else that has representation, they need to become citizens. Please tell me that I am confused about what you are saying b/c if I am not…I shouldn’t have wasted my time!

    Ppl like u, crack me up! You selfishly pretend u are fighting for the rights of others, yet u ignored this beautiful little girl’s story. This had nothing to do w/the government. Liberals are selfish ppl, like u, they say that they are fighting for the helpless, for everyone’s rights, when behind the scenes they are truly fighting for themselves.

    In politics, what is black seems white and what is white seems black. From the outside, Conservatives look like they are the selfish ones, when in reality we care about each individual. The Conservatives (not politicians) help the helpless, unlike the liberals that bleed the system dry, treating ppl as a whole. Well guess what…sooner than later NO ONE, even the helpless, will be able to receive the help they need. The majority of ppl receiving government assistance have had a hand in selfishly bankrupting the country!

    Sadly, the economy crashing might just be what this nation needs, so that ppl like u could actually learn to take care of themselves, instead of depending on everyone else to provide for them. This sense of entitlement has got to go!

  13. No testing can be 100% correct. No one can justify if the jury is right, since you can’t measure the impact of this error. Although I hope by pronouncing this as something that they wouldn’t go through wouldn’t hurt the child’s feeling when he/she grows up.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s