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Couple Wins Millions When Son Is Born With Severe Birth Defects

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OliverWuthBy Lillian Armstead

A Seattle, Washington couple received $50 million in a wrongful birth lawsuit. A genetic disorder on Mr. Wuth’s side of the family caused Brock and Rhea Wuth, both educators to seek genetic counseling before deciding to conceive a baby – Mr. Wuth’s cousin was diagnosed with a genetic defect at birth.

They were told by counselors that they faced a 50-50 risk of having a child with a genetic flaw.  Shortly after Rhea found out she had conceived, she contacted the Valley Medical Center in Renton for genetic testing.  Labcorp in North Carolina received the test and made the determination that Rhea’s tests were normal; she had nothing to fear.

Fast forward to 2008 and Rhea’s son was born – little Oliver was diagnosed with “unbalanced chromosomal translocation.”  Oliver’s parents filed a wrongful birth lawsuit against Valley Medical Center and Labcorp, claiming that Rhea would have terminated the birth had she known her son would be born with a birth defect.

Attorney Todd Gardner stated in the Times- News that baby Oliver will need care for his entire life.  He claimed the Wuth’s deserve to be compensated because the medical center failed to provide Labcorp with vital information, namely the genetic history of Mr. Wuth in determining the lab results. According to Gardner, the disaster is due to both Labcorp and Valley Medical failing to coordinate with one another about the family medical history.

The court weighed in favor of the Wuth’s with a $50 million award.  The court awarded the Wuth’s $25 million and their son Oliver $25 million.

In an apology, Valley Medical stated:  “We are very sorry for the tragedy the Wuth family has suffered.  “We continue to believe that the Valley Medical Center staff members acted appropriately.”

On the other hand, Labcorp replied:  “We believe the facts and the law do not support the verdict.  LabCorp acted properly and diligently in performing the test that was ordered by the physician. We will consider all available options, including post-trial motions and appeal, if necessary.”

Some felt sorrow that the lawsuit was ever filed, especially if Oliver ever finds out that his parents went through such measures.   One lady Jane wrote:

 “I was given the test, not to be able to abort, but to prepare if there was disability, my tests also were fine and I gave birth to a very sick little boy. I still love him no matter what. He’s 17 now and the light of my life regardless of disability.”

Another lady, Judy cited that Oliver might one day feel rejected after finding out that his mother considered terminating his birth.  Judy believes both parents need the Lord, and that she will pray for the family.   Oliver is now 5 ½ years old.  He goes to special education classes to help him with his speech.  He is also learning other skills that will help him live a more productive life.



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