Wrongful birth strikes again

Having a child should be one of the most joyful events in a person’s life, but what do you do when that child is born with a severe medical impairment? in some cases, you sue your medical providers. That is what Anna and Cory Miller of the Portland area have chosen to do. Their baby was born with Charge syndrome, a genetic disorder that afflicts about 1 in 10,000 births, and they believe prenatal tests should have detected the disorder. They are suing for $6.25 million and contend the staff at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and Kaiser Permanente misread the test results.

The Millers’ daughter is now 2 years old. The Millers claim they would have terminated the pregnancy had they know their child would be born with the syndrome. Children with Charge syndrome often suffer from heart defects and other problems, including issues with breathing, swallowing, hearing, and vision. Patients often have to undergo surgery, therapy, and hospitalization. Of the $6.25 million the Millers are asking for, $2 million would go to medical care and associated expenses, $3 million would go to care when the child reaches adulthood, $1 million would go toward emotional distress, and the remainder toward the mother’s lost wages.

If you’ll recall, this isn’t the first wrongful birth lawsuit filed in Oregon. Recently a couple was awarded $2.9 million in a wrongful birth lawsuit against Legacy Health. The couple’s child was born with Down syndrome, a condition the couple felt should have been diagnosed through prenatal tests.

For more on the Millers’ story, see this article.