Alleged Genetic Testing Error, Infant Born with Cystic Fibrosis, $13M Verdict

December 14, 2012 | Physician Practice News

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A physician in Tennessee was held liable for $13 million in damages to compensate parents who claimed their child was born with cystic fibrosis because the physician was negligent in performing genetic testing, according to a report from the November 2012 Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements, and Experts. Two years after giving birth to a child with cystic fibrosis, the plaintiff couple decided to have a second child. To avoid the possibility of cystic fibrosis in their next child, the plaintiffs’ physician prepared embryos for in vitro fertilization and sent them to a facility operated by the defendant physician, who then tested the embryos for a genetic mutation indicating cystic fibrosis. The defendant informed the plaintiffs’ physician that the embryos were negative for cystic fibrosis, and two embryos were implanted. The mother gave birth to twins, one of whom was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.

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