Montana Jury Rules Against Woman's Wrongful-Birth Lawsuit
Feb 12, 2016 12:11 AM EST
A Montana jury has ruled against a woman who asked for millions of dollars from health care providers, claiming they failed to diagnose her then-unborn child's cystic fibrosis.
In a report by ABC News, the woman, identified as Kerrie Evans of Gardiner, said in a court appearance that she would have had an abortion if she knew her daughter, who is now five years old, would be born with the genetic disease. A patient who has cystic fibrosis produces a thick and sticky fluid that damages the lungs and the digestive system.
According to Evans, she was not given information about cystic fibrosis carrier screening and the chorionic villus sampling test she requested would have been able to determine if her unborn child had Down syndrome or cystic fibrosis.
She did, however, admitted not reading a pamphlet regarding cystic fibrosis which was given to her during her first appointment for pre-natal treatment. The pamphlet suggests a blood test to indicate if the mother is a carrier. If so, the father would also have to be tested. If both of them are carriers, there is a 25 percent chance of having a child with the disease.
Seattle Times noted that the lawsuit was filed in 2011. She initially wanted $14.5 million in damages, $10 million of which is for her daughter's medical care costs. However, during the closing statements, the attorneys of Evans asked only for $2.5 Million. Jurors deliberated for two hours only to decide that nurse practitioner Peggy Scanson and OBGYN Dr. William Peters did not veer away from the standard health care for Evan's prenatal treatment.
Peters said he offered the carrier screening to Evans but she declined. She did, however, had a chorionic villus sampling and it came back with normal results, Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported.
An attorney for Scanson, John Scully, said during closing arguments, "She ignored what she was given. She ignored what she was told. And now she's here blaming others."
Evans has named Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital and Shodair Children's Hospital as defendants of the case initially, but they settled for an undisclosed amount of money. Livingston HealthCare and Bozeman OBGYN were then named as defendants in the trial. They have been both dismissed earlier this week.