At present, wrongful pregnancy lawsuits are recognized in only 42 of the states in the US. Of these 42 states, a whopping 31 states will not permit damages to be sought for child-raising costs.
With so many advancements in the medical world over the past few decades, it is now possible for parents to choose whether they want to undergo voluntary sterilization if they do not want children or if they want to stop having children after feeling that their family is complete.
However, with the rise in sterilization procedures, there is an increase in medical errors as well, and parents who thought that they would not be able to have another child again are getting pregnant. As a result, wrongful pregnancy, a new type of lawsuit, was created. This is a lawsuit in which parents can file damages against negligent healthcare providers if they become pregnant or give birth after getting a procedure designed solely to keep them from having any more children.
Legal Elements of Wrongful Pregnancy
Although a wrongful pregnancy is not a medical malpractice cause of action per se, it does center on whether a medical professional performed a medical sterilization negligently. Procedures that are meant to prevent pregnancy in the future include tubal ligation or vasectomies. While people may have a variety of reasons for not wanting to get pregnant, examples include the following:
- Risk of age-related health problems
- Risk of congenital health problems
- Risk to the mother’s health
- Insufficient finances or resources to care for a child
- Personal preference
As with any tort action, there are a number of factors that determine if a wrongful pregnancy suit will be successful – the duty owed to the patient, breach of that duty, and proximate and factual causes. In such situations, the duty owed would be that of the physician to ensure that the sterilization procedure is performed correctly.
The breach of duty would be negligence while performing the procedure, and the causes would be that the patient would not be pregnant, but for the plaintiff relying on the botched procedure’s effectiveness. Once the plaintiff establishes these elements at trial, the next consideration is the recovery extent.
Wrongful Pregnancy Compensation
A successful wrongful pregnancy lawsuit generally compensates the child’s parent or parents for expenses as well as intangible issues that have a direct relation to the pregnancy. Expenses include the following:
- Prenatal, neonatal, and delivery room medical bills
- Lost wages due to pregnancy or recovery from giving birth
- The cost of the ineffective sterilization procedure
Intangible damages may include the following:
- Pain and suffering of the mother
- Loss of consortium of the father during the pregnancy and recovery
Call RMFW Law Today!
If you or somebody you know one becomes pregnant after undergoing an unsuccessful sterilization procedure, you should immediately consult an experienced medical malpractice attorney at the Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff, & Wolff Law firm at 212 697 9280.
Give us a call. The first meeting is free. We know how to win cases. We have a strong track record of doing exactly that. RMFW Law has won millions of dollars for previous clients and you too can be on this fabulous list. What do you have to say? Let us hear our side of the story so we can steer you in the right direction.
RMFW Law only takes a percentage of the final settlement or verdict so really, you never have to write us a check. The hospital will not call us for you, you need to do that yourself. We will be waiting for your call.