$4.5M Awarded to Parents of Child With One Limb

Ultrasounds failed to spot abnormalities
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 10, 2011 2:42 PM CDT

(Newser) – A couple won $4.5 million in a Florida court yesterday because doctors failed to notice that their baby would be born with no arms and one leg, the Palm Beach Post reports. The couple would have aborted the baby, they testified, if only ultrasounds had correctly spotted its missing limbs. The money is slated to pay for operations, prostheses, wheelchairs, and attendants. "I have no words," said mother Ana Mejia in her native Spanish, overjoyed by the verdict.

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An OB-GYN and a perinatal specialist plan to appeal, saying Mejia and Rodolfo Santana rejected an amniocentesis that might have revealed the abnormalities. They even rejected it after a warning that their child could have Down's Syndrome, which shows they never would have aborted the child, the specialists said. But the couple's lawyer says the missing limbs are the issue: "There's not one shred of evidence that they were ever told there was an issue with one of his limbs, let alone three," he said. (Read more jury stories.)

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