Valley Medical Center failed to recognize genetic disability in unborn child, court finds

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RENTON — A jury awarded a $50 million settlement to a Burien family after Valley Medical Center in Renton and the Laboratory Corporation of America failed to identify a severe genetic abnormality in testing done on a pregnant woman.

babyAccording to the family’s attorney, the woman came to Valley Medical Cent’er Maternal Federal Medicine in 2007 for testing of a rare, disabling genetic disease called Unbalanced Chromosone 2;9 translocation disorder. The disease was present in her husband’s family, and the woman wanted to make sure her unborn baby didn’t carry the ailment.

The disease causes extreme disability and 24-hour care in a person, though their lifespan is expected to be normal. However, proper testing can accurately determine if an unborn child has the disease.

The genetic disability can be accurately predicted through prenatal testing, the attorney said in a statement. The woman was deemed to be carrying a “chromsomally normal male” after the Valley Medical Center failed to properly label the woman’s test.

Along with the failure to label, the suit alleged that Valley Medical Center, a non-profit hospital, eliminate staffing in its genetics testing lab at the detriment to hospital patients, while top CEOs saw their benefits increase.

The seven-week trial in the King County Court finished recently. The jury’s decision was delivered Tuesday.

Valley Medical Center released this statement following the decision:

“We are very sorry for the tragedy the — family has suffered. We continue to believe that Valley Medical Center staff members acted appropriately.”

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  • dieseltech

    Valley medical center still thinks their staff acted appropriately? Hope it was worth 50 million dollars to have that much faith in the staff of that hospital. I refuse to go to Valley Hospital in Renton, the hospital may be rated one of the best, but the staff, nurses and doctors are overpaid, underworked, wait times are off the charts and mistakes are commonly made, im glad the jury found for this family

    • Blahblahblah

      You don't even know the whole story. Laboratory Corporation of America had a trainee do the testing. That trainee had only worked there for 3 days. It is not uncommon for these tests to be sent out to a more capable lab. The fault should rest on Lab Corp.

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