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.

Did you think they have a strong case?

Share your comments below

  • crash in 2001! wooh long time ago!


  • How long ago did the file for compensation? You only have a certain length of time to start proceedings as far as I know – certainly not this long.


  • I think it’s a very big stretch to blame the other driver particularly if this happened in 2002.


  • It doesn’t sound like the other driver can be blamed for this. It’s less clear if the hospital was negligent.


  • What a horrible situation this would be. I hope it has a more positive outcome for all concerned.


  • Legal cases are often complex and take time.


  • I don’t see how nervous shock could cause abnormalities. If it did, I think there’d be a lot more kids with defects due to the mother’s mental health. I know it can affect the baby but I thought it was emotionally if anything. Scans are never 100% accurate so I don’t think they should sue the hospital.


  • These seems like a grab for crash rather than compensation


  • No I don’t think so because it seems unclear the accident caused the abnormalities.
    I understand that it is hard to come to terms with a baby with abnormalities, it seems they respond out of grieve, bitterness and anger.


  • Don’t think it was fair to pinpoint that moment


  • when your child is injured you want someone to pay, I am not a medical person but I don’t think this is accurate at all, sometimes bad stuff happens and no one is to blame


  • I am not sure about the accident related to child’s abnormalities, how are they so sure that the accidents is also one of the reason, though they can file a case against the hospital staff as unable to pick any abnormalities at the time of scan.


  • I think they have a case against the hospital but not against the other driver. At 3-4 weeks pregnant the crash wouldn’t have caused any of those problems?


  • Money grab! Seriously 3-4 weeks pregnant and all these years later.


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