Couple Sues Genetic Testing Companies

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (CN) – Genetic testing companies mixed up pregnant women’s specimens and failed to detect a fetal birth defect, depriving a couple of the opportunity to abort the pregnancy, a married couple claim in court.
     Mary Cotton and Michael Cotton sued Esoterix Genetics Laboratories, Genzyme Corp. and Laboratory Corporation of America aka Labcorp, in St. Clair County Court.
     The Cottons claim the defendants improperly labeled Mary’s prenatal diagnosis testing specimen in October 2011, causing it to get switched with another woman’s sample. They claim the mix-up caused doctors to miss the DiGeorge syndrome in the fetus.
     DiGeorge syndrome is caused by a defect in chromosome 22. It is commonly associated with heart defects, poor immune system function, cleft palate, complications from low levels of calcium in the blood and behavioral disorders.
     “(A)s a direct and proximate result of one or more of the foregoing negligent acts or omissions on the part of the defendant as aforesaid, plaintiffs’ unborn child’s disorder went undiscovered and undiagnosed; consequently, plaintiffs were denied the opportunity to discover their unborn child’s disorder, and thus denied the chance to terminate the pregnancy,” the complaint states.
     “Had they learned of the disorder, plaintiff, Mary Cotton, would have so terminated. Instead, she gave birth to a child with DiGeorge syndrome. Plaintiffs suffered mental anguish and emotional distress, incurred, and will continue to incur, extraordinary expenses for medical, hospital, institutional, educational, and other expenses required to manage and treat their child’s disorder, and otherwise properly provide for their child, all to their damage in a substantial amount.”
     The Cottons seek damages for negligence.
     They are represented by Samantha S. Unsell with Keefe & Keefe.

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