A New York trial judge has upheld a New York medical malpractice jury’s award in the amount of $7.5 million to the parents of a child born with cystic fibrosis. The defendant, a New York fertility clinic, allegedly failed to perform a genetic test for cystic fibrosis before the couple had fertilized eggs implanted in the woman.
The plaintiffs alleged in their New York fertility clinic malpractice case that the defendant agreed as part of the services it provided to the couple to perform a cystic fibrosis genetic marker test and to advise them regarding the results of the testing prior to implantation. The plaintiffs contended that the defendant did not perform the required testing and therefore it was liable for support of the plaintiffs’ child who was born with cystic fibrosis.
The plaintiffs’ child was born in 2011. In 2012, the plaintiffs filed their New York medical malpractice case alleging counts for medical negligence and breach of contract. The trial proceeded on the issue of damages only.
The New York medical malpractice jury awarded the plaintiffs $3.1 million for the cost of medication to slow the progression of their child’s cystic fibrosis and an additional $2.2 million as compensation because the mother had to leave her teaching job in order to stay at home and take care of her child. The amounts awarded were for a period ending when the child turns 21.
The defendant fertility clinic challenged the amounts awarded by the jury to the plaintiffs, arguing that the plaintiffs had failed to prove the necessity of the mother staying home to take care of her child and that the award for medication was improper because the medication is not currently available. The trial judge rejected those challenges to the jury’s award, citing the testimony of a medical expert at trial that the child’s home would be the best environment for the child in order to prevent infection and to slow the progression of the disease.
After a hearing on whether the defendant was entitled to credit for the amounts that health insurance was anticipated to pay for the child’s future medication needs, the trial judge rejected that challenge as well. The parties had stipulated to additional damages in the amount of $230,000 before trial, which will be added to the jury’s $7.5 million award, which would make the defendant liable for $7.7 million.
The plaintiffs have moved from New York to Florida in order for their daughter to have more time to be outdoors.
The plaintiffs’ medical malpractice lawyer stated after the verdict was rendered, “It’s a terrible, insidious disease and we’re obviously hoping that the therapies will continue to improve and she’ll have a normal healthy life for the foreseeable future but it’s a daily struggle.”
If you or a loved one were harmed due to the negligence of a fertility clinic in New York or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a New York medical malpractice lawyer, or a medical malpractice injury lawyer in your state, who may investigate your fertility clinic claim for you and represent you in a medical negligence claim against a fertility clinic, if appropriate.
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