Negligent Prenatal examination: Baby Finally Died of Down Syndrome
The plaintiffs were a woman and her husband. The woman was pregnant, and she took an amniocentesis test in week 17 of her pregnancy. The defendant was a physician who made a misinterpretation of the amniocentesis test report. He told the mother that there was nothing abnormal detected about the fetus. But 3 months after birth the infant died of " Transient Abnormal Myelopoiesis "(TAM), a complication associated with Down syndrome. The plaintiffs pressed charge against the doctor and the chief of OB-GYN clinic A and claimed for damage due to their breach of duty of care.
In the first instance the Hakodate District Court determined that there was no significant causal link between the defendant’s breach of duty of care and the Down syndrome baby’s death. However, considering the great mental pain the plaintiffs had suffered and the seriousness of the defendants’ negligence, the defendants should compensate the plaintiff 5 million yen for cost of an abortion that should have been performed and 500 thousand yen for a lawyer’s fee, a total of 5.5million yen, on the basis of medical contract non-performance.