Tuesday, December 17, 2013

CULTURAL STATE OF AFFAIRS - Couple Wins $50 Million For "Wrongful Birth"

A truly outrageous story.
  • Couple gets prenatal test.
  • Test was mishandled.
  • Parents have a child with disabilities.
  • Sue because they would have aborted child had they known of disabilities.
  • Win $50 million.
  • Ug.
More details:
After his severely disabled cousin was found to have a rare genetic defect called an “unbalanced chromosome translocation,” Brock Wuth discovered that any future children of his were at risk.

In fact, Brock and Rhea Wuth were told they had a 50-50 chance of having a child with that defect or a related translocation. So they sought genetic counseling and testing and carefully followed all the recommendations.

When Rhea Wuth became pregnant, genetic tests pronounced their unborn child normal.

But as soon as their son was born on July 12, 2008, the Burien couple knew something was very wrong. Oliver, who has the genetic defect, was born with profound mental and physical disabilities.

On Tuesday, a King County Superior Court jury placed the blame — $50 million worth — equally on Valley Medical Center in Renton and Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp), based in North Carolina.

According to court papers in the wrongful-birth case, Valley ordered a prenatal test that can be counted on to find this type of chromosomal abnormality only when the lab receives additional information — a “road map,” essentially — showing it where to look for the specific problem. Valley failed to send that information to the lab, and never told Rhea Wuth that without the additional directions, the test results might not answer the crucial question.

Although the lab’s own procedures specify it should follow up with a phone call when such information is missing, that call was not made, said the family’s lawyer, Todd Gardner, of Renton.

The lab missed the translocation. Had the couple known of the genetic defect, they would have ended the pregnancy, according to court filings in the case.

The verdict is the largest individual award in Washington state history, according to Jury Verdicts Northwest, which tracks jury awards.
This sounds akin to child abuse.
--We love you, but really wanted to kill you and wish you weren't alive. At least we are rich because of it all.

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