Birth-Control Defects and "Wrongful Birth" Lawsuits

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For most families, the arrival of a child should be a joyful occasion. However, in some situations, an unexpected newborn poses a serious difficulty. Many families take proactive precautions to ensure that they will not be confronted with a pregnancy until they are ready – birth-control pills are one of the most common and convenient forms of contraception available today.

But what happens when a birth-control pill fails and a family becomes unexpectedly pregnant before they are ready? Many new parents are entitled to pursue a new variation on “wrongful birth” lawsuits.

One scenario that has occurred several times in recent years involves defective birth-control pills. Several manufacturers issued recalls to warn consumers of defective pills – but these warnings arrived too late for some families. The consequences of an unexpected pregnancy were enormous for some of these women, including significant interruptions in education and forced withdrawal from the armed forces.

These women are now seeking compensation from the pharmaceutical companies whose mistakes left the drugs defective. Lawsuits are appearing around the nation, alleging that the pharmaceutical companies. Depending on the applicable law, some courts limit the damages that are available. Many women can still recover for lost wages and the medical costs associated with a pregnancy and delivery. If a child is born with genetic defects, other damages may also be available.

Source: Kansas City Star, “After birth-control pills recalled, babies – and lawsuits – arrive,” Alan Bavley, Feb. 18, 2013

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