An Adelaide couple are taking legal action against a woman who rear-ended their car claiming the crash caused their unborn baby to develop serious medical conditions.
The parents of the boy, who was born prematurely in January 2002, are also taking action against the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
They allege staff failed to pick-up several abnormalities at the woman’s 20-week scan.
Court documents published this week reveal the couple would have terminated the pregnancy had they known the baby “was likely to have birth defects and be severely handicapped”, reports 7 news.
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The documents say the woman was between three and four weeks pregnant when the crash happened in July, 2001.
The couple allege that, as a result of the other driver’s negligence, the baby developed abnormalities including a rare condition causing part of his oesophagus not to form.
They say they suffered “nervous shock” as a result of the crash but no further physical injuries.
The other driver admits her negligence caused the crash but denies she had any lasting impact on the health of the baby.
At an ultrasound several months after the incident, it is alleged the failure of medical staff to properly interpret and report the scan caused the baby’s premature birth and related conditions, including cerebral palsy.
The couple says the woman also presented at the hospital that December with signs of excessive amniotic fluid, and she should have undergone further scans and seen a specialist.
They also claim the hospital failed to advise them of various risks throughout the pregnancy and the increased possibility the child would die before or shortly after his birth.
The hospital says there was no reason to advise the couple to terminate the pregnancy at the time of the scan or any time before 28 weeks.
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