Minnesota Wrongful Birth
Wrongful birth lawsuits are medical malpractice lawsuits. Many people have heard of wrongful death lawsuits. These claims allege that a person’s death should not have occurred and was only due to the negligent actions of another person. Wrongful birth lawsuits are not as common, nor do as many people know about them. A wrongful birth lawsuit alleges that a birth should have never happened and that the parents would have made a different decision if they were properly informed.
What is a Wrongful Birth Lawsuit?
Parents can file a wrongful birth lawsuit when they believe that a doctor’s negligence led to a child being born with serious birth defects. Doctors are expected to monitor pregnant women and order the necessary tests to determine if a child will be born with birth defects.
When doctors fail to do this, they cannot detect those birth defects and parents cannot make an informed decision on whether they want to go through with the pregnancy. Many times in these cases, parents choose to terminate the pregnancy because they do not have the capacity to care for a severely disabled child. People sometimes also take measures to prevent pregnancies when they know any child they have has a good chance of being born with a disability.
Wrongful birth lawsuits are different from wrongful life lawsuits. Wrongful birth lawsuits are filed by the parents of the child, while wrongful life lawsuits are filed by the child.
Proving Wrongful Birth
Just as with other personal injury claims, parents have to prove certain elements of a wrongful birth lawsuit. These include:
- A doctor did not perform the necessary tests that would have detected the disability, or the doctor did not warn the parents that their child would likely be born with a disability
- The child was born with a birth defect or a disability
- The parents would not have carried the child to term, or conceived the child, if they knew of the risks
- Negligence on the part of the doctor was a significant factor in the loss
Minnesota Does Not Allow Wrongful Birth Claims
Minnesota does not allow for wrongful life or wrongful birth claims. Although this law has been challenged in the past, the Minnesota Supreme Court has deemed it constitutional. Parents in the state can claim that medical negligence precluded them from making an informed decision. Likewise, children cannot claim that they should not have been born.
However, that does not mean that parents do not have any recourse when their child is born with birth defects and they were not informed of them. In 2004, the Court of Appeals of Minnesota decided that doctors do have a legal duty to inform parents of birth defects and when they fail to meet that duty, they can be held liable.
Consult Our Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Minnesota For Help with Your Claim
Proving a wrongful birth lawsuit is not easy, but our Minnesota medical malpractice lawyers know how to do it. At Wais, Vogelstein, Forman, Koch & Norman, LLC, our seasoned attorneys have the necessary experience to file medical malpractice claims so families can obtain the full compensation they deserve. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.