Oregon Couples Wins 'Wrongful Birth' Lawsuit 29540

A Portland, Oregon couple was awarded nearly $3 million in damages last week after they sued their health care providers for failing to diagnose their daughter with Down syndrome in utero.  Ariel and Deborah Levy sued for "wrongful birth" because they said had they known  the diagnosis, they would have opted to have an abortion.

The couple underwent a number of screening tests for Down's syndrome, The Oregonian newspaper reports, including ultrasound screenings and bloodwork--which showed an elevated risk of the fetus having the disorder--and a procedure called chorionic villus sampling, or CVS--which showed that the fetus was did not in fact have Down's.  The Levy's lawsuit alleged the lab that conducted the CVS mistakenly analyzed Deborah Levy's tissue, rather than the fetus'.

The Levys learned within a week of their daughter Kalanit's birth that she did in fact have Down syndrome.  The couple, who has two older, healthy sons, sued for the estimated $3 million additional lifetime costs they will incur to care for Kalanit.  A jury, voting 12-0 after only 6 hours of deliberation, awarded the family nearly the entire amount.

Image: Gavel, via Shutterstock.