For many in Massachusetts, becoming a parent is likely the happiest day of their lives, especially for any who struggle with fertility. It’s all the more upsetting to imagine, then, going through the time, emotional investment and financial costs for treatments at a fertility clinic, only to have your beloved child suffer from birth injuries due to a doctor’s negligence. Yet just such an incident has apparently occurred in another state, where two couples have filed a medical malpractice lawsuit after their infants were born with genetic abnormalities.
According to the reports, the two babies in question were born with a genetic condition known as Fragile X. This syndrome has symptoms that can include a variety of developmental delays and intellectual impairments. Only after the children were born with the condition was it traced back to the donated eggs used by the clinic, when, per the court papers, it was later discovered that the donors were carriers of the mutation.
The lawsuit was filed by the parents of the children, approximately two years after the births, when the condition became apparent. The parents seek damages to help cover the high costs that accompany raising children with disabilities. The lawsuit alleges that the doctor and clinic are at fault for failing to test the egg donors for the Fragile X mutation.
The matter, for the most part, seems to hinge on the issue of when the statute of limitations began, with arguments over whether the countdown started with the fertility treatment, the children’s births, or the discovery of their condition. The laws surrounding medical malpractice and birth trauma are complex and may seem overwhelming, but victims of substandard care should not have to suffer alone. For parents in Massachusetts whose children have suffered birth injuries due to a doctor’s negligence or error, there are professional legal resources willing to fight at their sides.
Source: The Washington Post, “Couples sue fertility clinic over eggs with genetic defect”, David Klepper, Nov. 15, 2017