Jump to content

Parents get 2.9Million in wrongful birth suit


  • Please log in to reply
60 replies to this topic

#51 RedBob

Posted 22 March 2012 - 10:04 AM

As usual BMJ has hit the nail on the head.

The other thing to remember is that if they didn't have insurance then, they sure as hell won't have it now. There is not an insurer, not here, certainly not in the US, who will insure a person who has a pre-existing condition for issues assocaited with that condition. They just don't do it, because it would cost too much and they would get too little back.  

Insurance, first, last and always, is there to make a profit for insurance companies. They will pay out too, but they are not altruistic, they are not benevolent, they are there to make a profit.

#52 sueb31

Posted 22 March 2012 - 10:16 AM

I'd have thought it might be like here too - that a child is only covered under insurance till they are a certain age? So it might be nigh on impossible to get insurance for an adult? I don't know how that works in the USA for people with disabilities.

Also, most people in the general public would probably be amazed at the service costs for someone living out of home and needing support. Although certainly there are some people with DS who may not need 24 hour support, many do. Once you are in the position of needing 24 hour carers, the costs are enormous.

As far as health needs, yes they'd probably know whether the girl had heart problems (ie whetehr they needed funding for surgeries). But there are a number of other health problems (including early onset dementia) that only become apparent later in life. There is a higher risk of autism and hearing and visual impairment. As well as mental health problems which include depression, anxiety and psychosis.

I don't wish to weigh in on the moral debate of suing for this situation. But from a financial point of view, I don't think the figures are particularly outrageous when you consider all of the above.

Sue

#53 Liv_FERAL_sh

Posted 22 March 2012 - 11:03 AM

Nothing to add except to agree wholeheartedly with BMJ!

Its very easy to get our judgy hats on and say 'that's disgusting'...it's harder to develop some bloody empathy and think about the realities of down syndrome. I applaud the parents for taking action to ensure their child would have something there to help ensure they are looked after.

#54 jaimmdee

Posted 22 March 2012 - 08:53 PM

In Australia, your settlement firstly pays back Medicare for any related care - yep, that includes all those supposedly free hospital stays.  You also have to repay centerlink for any benefits.  You are then precluded fom claiming on Medicare and centerlink for a period of time depending upon the amount of the settlement.  Again, no free medical care in Australia in those circumstances.

$2.9million won't cover lifetime care for someone with a severe disability.  We live in a world where wheelchairs are $40k (and kids grow), modified vehicles are $60k, standing frame $5k-10k, supportive seating and bedding $10k.  Then you have hoist, commodes, communication devices, adaptive equipment, house modifications, paid carers, medications, appointments, therapy - the list goes on and on.  The parents now have one less thing to worry about - I wish we all could be relieved of that stress.

#55 Mel1609

Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:14 PM

QUOTE (mtilly @ 21/03/2012, 11:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This assumes that you in no way invested the money. Even if you just stuck the money into high interest savings accounts earning 6% that is already $174,000 per year (or over 14,000 a month!) BEFORE you've even used any of the principle. I feel sad for the family but I think it is a ridiculously large amount of money to award.


Firstly, this type of case is not unique to the US - they happen here all the time, and not just for DS. Secondly, if a child is awarded a pay out due to medical negligence in Australia, you don't just get the whole lump in one go. It's held by the court, and you need to "apply" for money and to show them what it's for - this is to ensure the child is adequately provided for their whole lives, and that the parents or carers don't fritter the money away. So you can't live off the interest I'm afraid. Thirdly, a lifetime of care for child with severe SN can be massive - 2.9 mill is actually not a lot.

It doesn't open flood gates, the gates are already open. Most of these cases don't even get to court - they settle before that needs to happen. If an error has been made, the evidence is clear, there are experts to back it up, etc, etc, the insurers will generally pay once a figure has been agreed upon. It's not a straight forward process and it can take years and years as the child needs to reach a certain age before the extent of their disability can be established. These parents love their children dearly, and only want to make their lives more comfortable, and to be able to give them everything they deserve.

Edited by Mel1609, 22 March 2012 - 09:36 PM.


#56 lamarque

Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:17 PM

QUOTE (Lightning_bug @ 21/03/2012, 11:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So?  I would think you could safely presume the court knew the type of testing.  Had all sorts of experts who know far more than DR Google would and they decided there was sufficient fact and evidence to conclude the parents were misled.

Unless, of course, some key specialist in the field of genetic testing is on EB (which is quite possible), the general public can presume safely there were probably facts beyond many people's average understanding and comprehension presented to the court and the court was satisfied.

Of course, I could be wrong.  Maybe some lay person should check over the shoulders of the courts to 'tut' their moral objections to the facts.

And they're not suing for some undiagnosable condition.  They're suing for a diagnosable one.  One they were guarenteed their child didn't have.  There's a massive difference.

Ahh, a breath of fresh logic.  Well said.

The Court case is done and dusted and they won.  No point discussing what tests may or may not have been undertaken.  If a doctor had told them the test was inconclusive or not 100%, we wouldn't be here discussing it.  

I hope their lives are made somewhat easier.



#57 bluecardigans

Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:43 PM

Can't find anything more recent..This is back in 2006...
QUOTE
The report shows that the cost of accommodation support services per user in institutional or residential settings in New South Wales ($107,124) was similar to some other major jurisdictions, being Victoria ($112,643), and Western Australia ($117,712).


That is just accommodation per year and doesn't include adult day program support or any medical or therapy expenses.
http://www.audit.nsw.gov.au/ArticleDocumen...df.aspx?Embed=Y


#58 Studybug

Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:43 PM

There's a lot of sense being made in this thread - ahh refreshing... wink.gif

Just another pp agreeing with BMJ and the like.

As an aside, is this the feminist Ariel Levy the author of Female Chauvinist Pigs?...

#59 -Emissary-

Posted 25 March 2012 - 10:28 PM

I am glad they won that money. I do hope that it would make their lives easier.

QUOTE (mtilly @ 22/03/2012, 08:35 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
That's actually not correct. Again, you are assuming that the money was not invested. Let's assume 2,000,000 remaining after legal fees, if invested in say a high interest account (I'm sure there would be better options for that amount of money but for now this will do), at 6%, that leave $120,000 per year even if you NEVER spent the principle.


I don't think there is anywhere in the world that you can get an interest rate of 6% at the moment. In the US, the interest rate is.. 1%?

Obviously if they are financially savvy then they'll be able to invest their money wisely. Either way, they are now in a better position than before.

#60 canuckmel

Posted 27 March 2012 - 09:52 PM

QUOTE (Fancy and Epic @ 21/03/2012, 07:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'd sue in a heartbeat if I were hellbent on not raising a child with SN and I went through a process like amnio and was assured my child did not have the condition being tested for.  

Kids with SN have significant impacts on the parents ability to earn and cost serious money to raise.  I cannot see the problem with wanting someone else to meet those costs after the parents did what they could to prevent the condition they were unwilling to deal with.

And I do not think it does not mean they do not love the child they are raising.  In some ways you can see this as assuring the child's future financially as either it means there is enough money that the parent/s do not need to return to work while they are needed or there is enough money to take care of the child's future.

Childbirth and pregnancy are risky.  Genetic conditions which can be tested for are less risky--if they were assured the baby did not have DS, then they had the right to sue IMO.


I was about to comment with basically this exact response.

#61 canuckmel

Posted 27 March 2012 - 09:55 PM

QUOTE (fertile woman @ 21/03/2012, 08:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
At the same time it breaks my heart when parents start legal action over an existing child.  I don't think it requires 2.9 million dollars extra to raise a SN child so it makes me feel (rightly or wrongly) that they are seeking compensation for having a child they don't want at all.


We are talking about America though, a country with a 'user pays' medical system where a condition such as cancer can send you bankrupt and force a family to sell their home and live on welfare.




2 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 2 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

The myths and truths of gender swaying

Here are a few popular methods hopeful parents-to-be use to try to get a baby of their preferred gender – and what an expert says about whether they really work.

10 easy DIY Christmas decoration ideas

It's officially time to get into the Christmas spirit. Why not branch out when you put up your tree this year and add a personal touch with a few DIY decorations? We've found the perfect easy-to-make ways to put more festive fever into your home.

The dangerous new trend of glucose challenge test refusal

A dangerous trend is seeing more mothers-to-be declining a relatively simple and painless test to check for gestational diabetes.

Office of Fair Trading reveals naughty toys ahead of Christmas

The Office of Fair Trading has pulled seven toys from shelves ahead of Christmas after they fail safety tests.

Video: Baby boy's trouble with twins

These twin girls will no doubt have fun fooling people in years to come, but nobody will be as confused as baby Landon.

Long-term reversible male contraceptive on its way

Men could soon have access to an injectable long-term contraceptive which works in a similar way to a vasectomy but promises to be easily reversed.

'I tried to kill my baby': one mum's story

After bathing and dressing her three-month-old son, Amanda had a rare moment alone with her baby.

Attack of the 'mummy brain'

I feel that almost every day, someone in my life - be they a friend, family member or complete stranger - feels the need to excuse my behaviour as I have other things on my mind.

Mum of baby who fell ill after drinking raw milk speaks out

A Melbourne mother has described how her son turned grey when he became seriously ill after drinking raw milk.

Australian divorce rate lowest since 1976

Modern newlyweds are now well into their 30s and marriage still offers something powerful a new book argues.

The aftermath of a traumatic birth experience

In Australia, 30 per cent of women find their birth experience traumatic, with 6 per cent going on to develop post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Young mum burns 'from inside-out'

A young mum is in intensive care after she took a friend's antibiotic and wound up with an ailment that is burning her body 'from the inside-out'.

The disagreement that can break a relationship

If he doesn't change his mind, all I can hope is that I will. It would be a waste to spend the rest of my marriage mourning a baby that never was.

Co-sleeping or no-sleeping? Mum videos worst nap ever

One mother's futile attempt to sleep in caught on camera in a hilarious - and very cute - video.

Why children misbehave during the festive season

While we all like to imagine the holiday season as being a fun, loving and bonding experience; often our reality is quiet different.

I was fat-shamed by my doctor

The fear of being weighed is the most significant factor in women cancelling medical appointments - and now weight-shaming has happened to me.

End of an era: no more childcare

As we reach the end of 2014, we're closing the book on many things for another year, most notably childcare. Our last child has attended childcare for the very last time.

The 7-year itch is more like the 10-year itch: study

Contrary to popular belief, making it past the seven-year mark doesn't mean your marriage will be smooth sailing from there on.

Stop telling us that parenting gets harder

I’m sure that parenting will get harder. But life isn’t exactly smooth sailing for many of us right now, either.

Should children be forced to sit on Santa's lap?

We teach kids it’s okay to say no if they don’t feel safe, so why do some parents force their children to climb in to Santa's lap?

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Baby born weighing almost 14 pounds

Yes, the bouncing baby girl was born by caesarean section. And mum says no more kids.

The dummy debate

I'm the first to admit that when I used to see tiny babies with dummies in their mouths, I thought "Hmm, lazy parenting." And now I apologise.

'I thought I was an only child'

Imagine meeting your double at a school sports event, or regularly being mistaken for someone you haven't met. Separated twins Margaret and Joy tell their story.

Mums reveal their nappy bag essentials

Ever wondered what other mums carry in their nappy bags? We have, so we asked mums to tell us their must-have nappy bag items.

Toddler died because he wasn't given antibiotics soon enough

A 15-month-old boy would almost certainly be alive today if doctors had given him antibiotics sooner, a coroner has ruled.

VIDEO: moment a toddler falls on to train tracks in Melbourne

Shocking footage has emerged capturing the moment a pram carrying a toddler rolled off a platform and onto train tracks in suburban Melbourne.

Sold on natural birth? Read the fine print

In the excitement and anticipation of a first pregnancy, I ignored the fine print: some women, some of the time.

Child with alcoholic mum who drank while pregnant won't win pay-out

A young child is not entitled to criminal injuries compensation after her mother drank excessively while pregnant.

Superbugs killing India's babies, posing wider threat

A deadly epidemic that could have global implications is quietly sweeping India, tens of thousands of newborns dying because antibiotics no longer work.

Can you teach a toddler to sleep in?

Parents share their tips on getting their early risers to sleep in, even for just a little bit longer.

Keeping your relationship on track as new parents

About 70 per cent of couples experience a slump in their relationship within three years of having a baby. Here's how we tried to get back on track.

America's favourite baby names of 2014

Americans are turning to television, Netflix and sports for ideas for what to name their wee ones.

Carers admit to force-feeding children

As Sydney grieves the loss of Sydney siege victims Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson, reports have suggested that both died as heroes.

 

How many weeks til Christmas?

On your To-Do list

Get the "Santa" shopping done without the kids in tow.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.