Hopeful new parents Jean-Marie Monroe-Lynch and Aaron Lynch sued the state of Connecticut after a failed insemination procedure at UConn Health Center. The mistakes made resulted in the death of one child in utero and left the other with permanent brain damage.
Botched Insemination Procedure
Monroe-Lynch underwent the procedure at the Center for Advanced Reproductive Services (CARS), a private contractor for UConn Health Center. She received the treatment in 2014, and in 2015, her unborn baby girl died. Her son suffered brain injuries and now needs lifelong care.
The donor sperm the facility used to inseminate Monroe-Lynch came from someone with an infection known as cytomegalovirus, or CMV. This type of virus is related to herpes. When a pregnant woman has the infection, it can cause fetal death or severe birth defects.
The family alleged that the company was negligent in providing donor sperm contaminated with CMV. CARS failed to notify the couple of the risks and dangers of the CMV infection when using donated sperm.
UConn, they also claimed, was negligent in failing to recognize and diagnose the infection during routine ultrasounds done at 20 weeks. They also missed signs of the infection at 22 weeks.
Because CARS was contracted to provide services for UConn, the couple sued UConn for compensation through its insurer. The contract between the two included medical malpractice coverage for CARS staff.
A Superior Court Judge agreed with the plaintiffs and their lawyers in this case. The judge found in their favor because the physicians providing care during pregnancy have a duty to prevent harm. They failed in that duty.
The resulting judgment led to awards amounting to $37.6 million. This includes $24.1 million in economic damages. This will help the family care for Joshua, born with severe injuries, both mental and physical, that require lifelong care. He has autism, cannot eat without assistance, has cognitive deficits, and struggles to communicate.
The award also included $13.5 million in non-economic damages. This acknowledges the fact that the family suffered significantly in losing their daughter, Shay, and for the loss of function and independence for Joshua.
UConn Health has stated that it disagrees with the judgment and will appeal it. The main argument is that they no longer had a contractual obligation to provide CARS with insurance. UConn’s agreement, they stated, ended in 2014.
The judgment is likely to stand, at least in part because both CARS and UConn were negligent. CARS failed to warn the family about the risks of CMV, and UConn staff failed to detect signs of the infection until it was too late.
This is just one example of many in which babies and families suffer because of negligent mistakes. If your baby suffered birth injuries, contact a lawyer with experience to help you recover damages and get justice for your child.