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Litigation Funding Blog

Knowingly Aborting an Abnormal Fetus Poses a Delicate Ethical Issue

December 15, 2014

Brock and Rhea Wuth did not know their child would be born with a genetic defect. In utero tests indicated a 50-50 chance of the baby being normal.

The Wuths, both teachers, alleged that the Medical Center did not send Laboratory Corporation of America the information it needed to look for a genetic defect in the correct location – an oversight that resulted in the birth of a son, now 6 years old, with an IQ of less than 70 who cannot walk. The baby was born in 2008 with unbalanced chromosomal translocation. The problem can result in either missing genetic material or extra genetic material in a person’s DNA.

The result would have been entirely different had the hospital sent the correct information to the lab performing the tests. The couple chose to sue Valley Medical Center and the Laboratory Corporation of America for the wrongful birth of their son. Had they known about the condition in advance, they would have chosen to abort the fetus.

Their court case resulted in a $50 million jury settlement.

Some see wrongful death lawsuits as a travesty in justice and claim they demean and denigrate the value of human life. Interestingly, cases of wrongful birth are on the rise. The justice system often finds for the families who, through no fault of their own, end up facing millions of dollars in lifelong childcare because of a medical error.

The medical expenses the Wuth family faces are enormous, and paying those bills is a never-ending process. While waiting for their case to go to trial, they may have been struggling to keep up with the expenses, wondering how they would manage them in addition to their usual financial obligations. Even with an impaired family member requiring extraordinary levels of care, life must move forward.

The Wuths might have befitted from litigation funding, also referred to as a lawsuit loan or pre-settlement funding. Litigation funding assists plaintiffs in paying for medical expenses along with their mortgage, car loan, student loan, utilities and/or rent.

Applying for a lawsuit loan is a user-friendly process that only involves filling out an application online or filling one out on the phone with a staff member. The applicant must have a lawyer hired to begin the application process, and he or she needs to provide case details and an estimated award figure, calculated by the attorney of record.

Once the litigation funding company has the details of the case, it is reviewed quickly, with any funds approved sent to the plaintiff’s bank account within 48 hours. When the money arrives, the plaintiff may pay medical bills immediately and budget out the remainder for “usual” expenses, knowing they have funds to see them through until their case is resolved.

While litigation funding is not for everyone, it allows many people to know they do not need to worry about how to pay their bills while waiting for justice.

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