On March 4, 2016, a Baltimore medical malpractice jury returned its verdict in favor of the plaintiff who alleged that the defendant OB/GYN failed to perform genetic testing during her pregnancy that would have disclosed that her fetus had Down’s Syndrome, and failed to notify her of her level of risk for giving birth to a baby with Down’s Syndrome, thereby depriving the plaintiff of the option of terminating her pregnancy.
The plaintiff alleged in her Baltimore medical malpractice lawsuit that was filed in December 2013 that had her fetus been properly and timely tested for genetic abnormalities, and had the defendant obstetrician advised her of her risk, she would have terminated her pregnancy.
The plaintiff went to the defendant obstetrician after learning in early 2010 that she was pregnant. The plaintiff had two routine sonograms performed, in March 2010 and in June 2010, but she was not advised about or offered routine genetic testing, according to the plaintiff’s medical negligence claims. The plaintiff further alleged in her Baltimore medical malpractice lawsuit that the June 2010 sonogram was of poor quality and misread by the sonographer and radiologist, and that the June 2010 sonogram should have been read as indicating that the plaintiff was ten times more likely to give birth to a child suffering with Down’s Syndrome.
The plaintiff alleged that a second test in June 2010 indicated that her risk of giving birth to a baby with Down’s Syndrome was double, but she was never advised about the results of that test by the defendant obstetrician.
The Baltimore medical malpractice jury deliberated for three hours after the six-day trial before returning its verdict in favor of the plaintiff. The plaintiff’s damages as a result of the defendant’s medical negligence have been resolved for a confidential amount.
Pettiford v. Advanced Radiology, LLC, et al., Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Case No. 24C13007889.
Maryland first recognized a cause of action for wrongful birth in 1993, when the Court of Appeals of Maryland answered in the affirmative the following certified question: “Whether the State of Maryland recognizes a tort cause of action for wrongful birth when the doctor does not inform the patient about an available diagnostic test which might reveal the possibility of neural tube defects of the fetus, when these defects are genetically caused, when further diagnostic testing would be required to determine the nature and extent of any fetal defects, and when the plaintiff asserts she would have aborted the child had she been made aware of the fetus’s deformities.” Reed v. Campagnolo, 332 Md. 226, 630 A.2d 1145 (1993).
If your baby was born with certain genetic diseases or genetic disorders that may have been discovered if appropriate genetic testing was timely done during your pregnancy, you may have the basis for a medical malpractice wrongful birth claim. Obtaining the prompt advice from a local medical malpractice attorney may help you decide if you may proceed with a medical malpractice case.
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