$50M awarded over birth defect after test said baby would be OK

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KING COUNTY, Wash. — A Washington state jury has awarded a couple $50 million for a wrongful birth case that involves Burlington-based LabCorp, according to the Seattle Times.

A King County jury awarded Brock and Rhea Wuth of Burien, Wash. with the state’s largest ever individual award.

The couple’s son was born with profound mental and physical disabilities after concluding that Valley Medical Center and LabCorp mishandled a genetic test.

The couple reportedly knew from their family medical history they were at a 50-50 chance of having children suffering from a rare but debilitating genetic disorder called “unbalanced chromosome translocation.”

Rhea Wuth went to Valley to have her fetus tested and the hospital sent the blood sample to LabCorp. But the hospital failed to include crucial data about where the lab was supposed to look for a chromosomal defect.

Valley failed to send the information to the lab, and never told Rhea Wuth that without the additional directions, the test might not answer the question.

The family’s lawyer said the lab’s own procedures said it should follow up with a call when such information is missing, but the call was never made.

Court filings said the lab missed the translocation and if the couple knew about the genetic defect, they would have ended the pregnancy.

The couple’s son, Oliver, is now five years old and will reportedly need constant care for the rest of his life.

The child has a 50-70 IQ, cannot run or walk up stairs and can only say a few dozen understandable words, the couple’s attorney said.

LabCorp said in a statement: “We believe the facts and the law do not support the verdict. LabCorp acted properly and diligently in performing the test that was ordered by the physician. We will consider all available options, including post-trial motions and appeal, if necessary.”

Read more: The Seattle Times

22 comments

  • Sharon Jenkins

    Why didn’t LabCorp follow up with a simple phone call? They deserve to get the money…It will cost them a fortune to care for their poor son.

    • laffinatcha

      They knew going in there was a 50/50 chance thisv would happen. Why do they deeerve anything for NOT aborting a baby?

    • Rebecca

      Their poor son? More like his poor parents. These people are only thinking of their child as a burden and not as an actual human being!

  • Anna Bromley

    Why would these idiots intentionally have a baby knowing that this was MORE THAN LIKELY to happen. Their doctors should have told them not to go through with it. They shouldn’t get ANYTHING, since apparently they lack common sense and any decency. Don’t blame your mistake on someone else if you don’t care about the fact that you could potentially pass something like that on to your child. I have migraines that almost killed me as a child, I’m likely to pass that on to any daughter that I have, I will never have kids because of that. I don’t want to make a child go through what I went through. I wouldn’t be blaming it on someone else if I got pregnant and the child came out that way. I’d be stepping up to the responsibility, and saying “man, I should have kept my damned legs closed!”

    • mch09

      That is profoundly sad and a shame Anna Bromley. No person should be spared life or deny the potential of life just because they would have to endure suffering in their life. People overcome all kinds of obstacles and they are the heroes in our world, the ones most esteemed, to leave the greatest legacies. I find your comment more tragic even than this story, which is so completely degrading to the value and dignity of their son. They can not possibly love their child if they are basically saying his existence is a mistake. No person is a mistake. That is the precise mindset that is ruining our world. So sad.

  • Marissa

    Umm, were they just going to “take care of it” otherwise? Did they only want to have a normal child? Greedy losers!!! Disgusting!!

  • The One

    These people will not see any money for years and then it won’t be 50ml. LabCorp will buy crooked lawyers and judges till they win. Its the American way.

  • Suzanne

    It’s not the lab’s fault the couple CREATED a child with birth defects…If they were not prepared to have a child that was not perfect, KNOWING that they had a 50/50 chance of this defect, then they should NOT have EVER tried to conceive…

  • Molly Kay

    The parents are greedy and suing for their defective genes. They knew they had a 50/50 chance of having a baby with issues. Now they have to live with their own foolish decision and deal with it!

  • Debbie

    My heart hurts thinking that this couple actially sued somebody because their son has a birth defect. God created this child the way he is for a reason and he deserves so much better parents then what he’s got. I can’t find the words to describe the disgust and anger I feel towards these people.

    • lilasiris

      I agree. They should find a good home for him and spare him their poor parenting. You don’t need 50 mil to take care of a disabled child, when thousands of people do it with two working parents.

  • Kenny Hicks

    Sure is a lot of prejudging around here from people who profess their Christian belief yet don’t know what actually happened with these people other than from a snippet of an article. Typical short sightedness. Nice job, armchair lawyers and Christians.

    • Hannah

      I think the comments from this article say it best. “What is most troubling to me is not that the test results were inaccurate, but that the purpose of the test itself was so that the parents could decide whether or not to kill their own child,” Father Shenan Boquet, president of Human Life International, told LifeSiteNews.com. “This case, and those like it where ‘wrongful birth’ is used as justification for a lawsuit, really exposes the eugenic mindset which has crept into our culture that some lives are not worthy of life.”

      “This beggars the moral imagination,” Rod Dreher wrote at The American Conservative. “What parent goes to court to contend that justice requires that their baby, however damaged, should be dead?”

      from lifesitenews.com

  • Tim

    I hope both so called ‘parents’ become sterile and never enjoy sexual encounters the rest of their greedy lil lives. Accept what you were given, not be unhappy and sue for it. Having a child is not like playing poker, you cant ‘fold’ when you dont get the son or daughter you want! Both of these so called ‘parents’ deserve nothing and I hope they never get a penny of it! Greedy people are a nuisance to society.

  • Brandi

    Seriously?!? That child was made the way he is for a reason. So what his iq is only 70. So what he can only speak a dozen or so words…that child could have been put on this earth to do something amazing! They don’t deserve that sweet little boy!

  • vwpvictoria

    Any genetics test are not 100% accurate. Even if had been negative, how would they feel about their child. I have a child with Down’s Syndrome and before he was born they the the AFP test which came back negative. It was wrong. But I don’t think it was their responsibility to help keep my child up because of their mistake. Obviously, they haven’t accepted the way their child is. Even with the money, it is not going to change their child into a normal child. Life goes on…

  • lilasiris

    Here’s a new one. Sue because your genes are totally messed up. What do they contribute to society besides selfishness and treating their son as less than human? Especially the mom… she makes me sick.

  • Frankknowsitall

    Lab corp please appeal this ridiculous verdict. These enormous law suits cripple the already destroyed health care system and add trillions to the tax payer to pay for it all.

Comments are closed.