Supreme Court of Illinois Revises Elements of Wrongful Birth Claim


In Clark v. Children’s Memorial Hospital, No. 108656, the Supreme Court of Illinois considered the validity of a lawsuit involving claims that a hospital and its physicians failed to properly test and diagnose a couple’s first born child for a genetic defect and thus failed to advise the couple of the risk of conceiving a second child. The lawsuit revolved around claims of wrongful birth, negligent infliction of emotional distress and others.

As explained in the decision:

Plaintiffs Amy and Jeff Clark filed suit against Paul Wong, M.D., Rush University Medical Center (Rush), Baylor University Medical Center (Baylor), and Quest Diagnostics Clinical Laboratories (Quest), alleging various theories of liability in connection with the birth of their son, Timothy, who has Angelman Syndrome...They later added Children’s Memorial Hospital (Children’s Memorial) and Barbara Burton, M.D., as defendants. Their amended complaint alleged that Burton negligently failed to inform plaintiffs of test results revealing that their first son, Brandon, suffered from Angelman Syndrome due to a UBE3A genetic mutation, and that they would not have conceived Timothy had she provided them with accurate information regarding the risk of giving birth to another child with the same condition.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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