As people decide to have children at an older age, fertility clinics have grown in popularity. In addition, medical advances related to fertility have been a focus on medical researchers. For example, the NIH reports that the amount of research dollars related to fertility has grown from $78 million to $86 million over the last few years. However, as more people seek the services of fertility specialists, there are growing risks for New York birth injuries and prenatal care negligence. There is a current case pending before a New York court of appeals that revolves around the potential liability of a fertility clinic as it relates to genetically defective eggs.
The plaintiffs are two separate couples who allege that a New York fertility clinic, through the clinic’s fertility doctor, provided eggs that led to their children being born with genetic disorders. Both children have what’s known as Fragile X syndrome, which is a disease that can cause mental and physical developmental issues. The plaintiffs’ complaint alleges that the defendants, the fertility doctor and his clinic, failed to test the women who donated the eggs in question to assess whether those women were carriers for Fragile X syndrome. The damages relate to the expenses of caring for a disabled child.
The primary issue in the case is whether the claim is time-barred by New York’s statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims. Generally, the statute of limitations for a claim is 36 months from the date of the alleged act of malpractice.
The plaintiffs allege that beginning the statute of limitations time period at the time that the eggs were donated does not make sense. The plaintiffs argue that the defect was not apparent until after the children were born and began to show signs of developmental issues. The defendants, on the other hand, argue that it’s not the court’s role to extend the statute of limitations. This is something, argue the defendants, that should be done by the legislature rather than the judiciary.
During the litigation, the donors of the eggs were tested, and it was determined that they were carriers of the Fragile X mutation. Therefore, if the court rules that the statute of limitations has not expired on the plaintiffs’ claim, they likely have a strong argument that the defendants committed medical negligence.
Generally speaking, you or a loved one has two and a half years to file a medical malpractice claim. This time limit keeps many families from recovering compensation for damages incurred as a result of a negligent procedure. It’s important that you contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible after determining that you may have been subject to treatment that was below the standard of care. The Rochester-based attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano can help with birth injury cases. Call (315) 479-9000 or contact us online.
More Blog Posts:
New York Legislature Passes Lavern’s Law, Affecting Cancer Misdiagnosis Statute of Limitations, Rochester Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Blog, September 5, 2017
Infant Foot Surgery Lawsuit Revived by New York Appeals Court, Rochester Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Blog, September 25, 2017
Defendant Invokes New York Education and Public Health Laws’ Privileges to Prevent Discovery of Medical Records in New York Malpractice Case, Rochester Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Blog, October 30, 2017