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$4.5M Award Overturned in Down Syndrome Case

(CN) - A mother who bore identical twin girls with Down syndrome cannot collect $4.5 million for her doctor's failure to catch the condition and prevent the births, the Virginia Court of Appeals ruled.

Joseph and Julie Granata filed separate but identical actions against Jan Paul Fruiterman and his associates. They claimed Fruiterman failed to tell them about testing that could have alerted them in the first trimester of the twins' condition.

The Granatas said they would have terminated the pregnancy had they known this information.

The trial court ruled against Joseph because he did not have a patient-physician relationship with Fruiterman. The court ruled in Julia's favor, awarding the Granatas $4.5 million.

Judge Kinser reversed the decision, agreeing with doctors that the Granatas failed to provide expert medical testimony that the babies would have tested positive for Down syndrome had Julie undergone a placental tissue sample.

"None of Julie's medical expert witnesses opined about what the result would be if Julia had undergone the procedure," Williams wrote.

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