Couple Wins $2.9M for 'Wrongful Birth'

Would have terminated pregnancy if they knew baby had Down syndrome
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2012 8:12 AM CDT
An Oregon couple has been awarded $2.9 million for the lifelong care of their Down syndrome child, after doctors misdiagnosed the disorder in utero.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – An Oregon couple has been awarded $2.9 million in a case centered not around wrongful death, but wrongful birth. Ariel and Deborah Levy said they would have terminated their pregnancy had they known their daughter would have Down syndrome—but they were continually told the child would not. On Friday, a jury agreed Legacy Health System was negligent, citing five instances. Among them: The doctor took an incorrect tissue sample in order to determine the chromosomal profile; it was apparently analyzed incorrectly as well.

Lawyers for the hospital said they were "disappointed" in the verdict and looking into their options. The couple had originally asked for $7 million, and will use the money to care for their child, now four. "These are parents who love this little girl very, very much," said the couple's lawyer. "Their mission since the beginning was to provide for her and that’s what this is all about." The Oregonian notes that the Levys mouthed the words "thank you" to the jury as they filed out.

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