A Michigan mother is suing her doctor for the stress caused by an unplanned pregnancy, according to WJBK, a television station in Detroit.
According to the report, Lori Cichewicz of Oakland County went to her doctor in 2008 to have a tubal ligation.
Cichewicz’s doctor said her tubes were “blocked” and she had “no chance” of getting pregnant and did not need birth control, WJBK reported.
Three years later, she gave birth to a child with Down syndrome.
The woman is now suing for wrongful conception, according to the report. Wrongful conception is a medical malpractice claim that arises from the “negligent performance of a sterilization procedure,” according to the University of Missouri School of Law.
“This is really very close to a medical malpractice case,” legal analyst Charlie Langton told WJBK. “That’s really essentially what it is.”
Cichewicz, who is now 50 and raising a special needs child, is seeking damages for the emotional distress caused by the unplanned pregnancy.
“I’m older, I don’t know — will I see her graduate college? Will I see her go to college? Will I see her get married? Will I see her graduate high school? All this is going through my mind,” Cichewicz told WXYZ, another Detroit station.
Her daughter, Reagan, is now 5 years old.
“I mean, I can’t imagine life without her now. When they say having a child with special needs is a gift, it’s a gift,” she told WXYZ.
Cichewicz is not suing for “wrongful birth,” which is a claim that a health care provider has breached a duty subsequent to conception that results in the birth of an abnormal child.
“The stress associated with thinking about of having to be pregnant or being pregnant when she didn’t want to be pregnant are the only damages,” Langton told WJBK. “It’s not the fact she is going to get money for having to raise a Down syndrome child — the court already said no.”
The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled 3-0 on June 22 that Cichewicz could seek financial damages for emotional distress associated with the pregnancy only, the Detroit News reported.
The case is expected to go to a jury trial in Oakland County Circuit Court later this year.