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Medical Verdicts


Woman without contraceptive becomes pregnant at residential facility

March 2004 · Vol. 16, No. 3

<court>Los Angeles County (Calif) Superior Court</court>

A mentally retarded woman was transferred to a 50-bed residential care facility where her boyfriend, also mentally retarded, lived.

Her mother was assured that her daughter would receive a contraceptive, starting on the day she was transferred to the facility. However, 6 months passed before she received her first contraceptive injection. It was later discovered that the woman became pregnant before the birth control was administered. The woman’s child now suffers from severe neurologic disorders.

In suing, the woman claimed that the facility and its owner were not only negligent, but that these actions constituted dependent adult abuse.

The defendants maintained that they were not required to provide the woman with birth control, and that, due to her right to privacy, they had no right to intervene. They filed a cross-suit against the woman’s physician.

  • The case settled for $2 million. The cross-complaint was dismissed for a waiver of costs.

The cases presented here were compiled by Lewis L. Laska, editor of Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts (www.verdictslaska.com). While there are instances when the available information is incomplete, these cases represent the types of clinical situations that typically result in litigation.

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