Family of Baby Born Severely Disabled Recovers Substantial Damages after Doctor Fails to Provide Treatment Specifically Requested by Expecting Mother

A responsible expectant Mom gave birth to a severely disabled baby after her doctor failed to provide the treatment that she was not only entitled to but specifically asked for. The negligent Waterloo area doctor settled with the family.

Mom began to have vaginal bleeding at 13 weeks’ gestation during what was otherwise a normal pregnancy. After a urinalysis and blood pressure reading were both returned normal, she spoke to her doctor on the phone and requested to be tested for abnormalities. A second ultrasound showed a normal, apparently healthy, fetus. She saw her doctor again a few weeks later, and besides the fact that she had gained 5kg, her examination was normal. Given that Mom was over 35 years old, the doctor should have referred her for genetic counselling, maternal serum and amniocentesis testing. Women 35 years or over at delivery are eligible for amniocentesis based on age alone, regardless of maternal serum screening results. Had the doctor referred Mom for genetic counselling, the abnormality would have been detected.

The baby was born with Spina Bifida, with a large meningomyelocele over the lower back. A shunt was inserted into the baby’s back, from which she has multiple scars. She requires constant medical treatment, has scoliosis and continues to remain at risk of subluxation of the hips and distal weakness in both lower extremities, requiring the use of a wheelchair.

Sommers Roth & Elmaleh Professional Corporation has over 40 years of experience in medical malpractice litigation in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Ontario, and across Canada.

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The above information is not legal advice. Past results of cases and recoveries by our medical malpractice lawyers against hospitals, doctors, midwives, nurses and other healthcare professionals are not necessarily indicative of future results. The amounts recovered and other litigation outcomes will vary according to the facts in individual cases.