Lori Cichewicz of Oakland, Michigan, is suing her doctors after her baby came out with Down Syndrome.
Chichewicz says that she was told a long time ago by doctors that she would be unable to conceive healthy children. So, she asked a doctor to perform a permanent birth control procedure which would block the fallopian tubes, making it impossible to get pregnant.
Several years later, Chichewicz managed to conceive a child.
As a result, Cichewicz stopped using birth control, and three years later she became pregnant with a baby that turned out to have Down syndrome.
She gave birth to the baby and has now filed a “wrongful conception” lawsuit against her doctor, which amounts to a negligence case. The damages she seeks are for the emotional distress the unplanned pregnancy caused her.
“This is really very close to a medical malpractice case,” WJBK legal analyst Charlie Langton said. “That’s really essentially what it is.”
Langton said the court has already ruled that any damages will be limited to distress caused by conception.
“The stress associated with thinking about having to be pregnant or being pregnant when she didn’t want to be pregnant are the only damages,” he said. “It’s not the fact that she is going to get money for having to raise a Down syndrome child – the court already said no.”
A wrongful pregnancy case is distinct from a wrongful birth case in that the latter charges a doctor with failing to properly diagnose a birth defect, resulting in the birth of a defective child that could have otherwise been aborted, according to The Free Dictionary’s legal dictionary.