Ohio Parents can sue a doctor if a genetic screening misses a severe or fatal condition that would have caused them to seek an abortion, a divided state Supreme Court ruled Friday.
The 4-3 decision limited such lawsuits to costs associated with a pregnancy and the birth of the child, saying such parents could not sue for pain-and-suffering damages or repayment of the costs of raising a disabled child.
The decision was a partial victory for a Kentucky couple who sued a Cincinnati obstetrics practice and hospital that provided genetic counseling and told them their fetus did not have a genetic disorder that the mother carried. The 8-year-old boy born in 1997 has the disorder and can't speak or crawl.
Justice Maureen O'Connor, writing for the majority, noted that the couple had indicated they would have aborted the child if they had received the correct diagnosis. As a result, she said they could not sue for costs above those of raising a child without a disability, since that was never a possibility.