LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Two doctors are being sued by a couple who allege they failed to detect problems with the woman’s fetus until the month before the child was born, depriving them of a legal basis on which to abort the fetus.
Bruce and Kimberly Lerner filed the wrongful life suit Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court against Dr. Lisa Masterson, an OB-GYN, and Dr. Clifford Bochner, a perinatologist. The suit seeks unspecified damages.
The couple’s son, Jacob Lerner, has undergone multiple surgeries to correct his defects since his birth in March 2007 and also is a plaintiff, the suit states.
Representative of the physicians could not be immediately reached.
According to the lawsuit, Kimberly Lerner began undergoing care with Masterson in September 2006, who ordered ultrasounds of the fetus. That same month Masterson recommended that her patient also receive care from Bochner, the suit states.
Bochner also ordered several ultrasounds of the woman’s fetus and in February 2007, the month before Jacob was born, he told Kimberly Lerner that her fetus did not have a proper stomach bubble and had a cyst on his brain, according to the lawsuit.
By that time the woman’s fetus was viable and she had “no medical basis which could have allowed her to legally abort her fetus as of that date,” the suit states.
When Jacob was born his medical problems included the cyst on his brain, scoliosis, a missing left kidney and a lack of a connection between his esophagus and his stomach, the suit states.
In the year after the boy’s birth he underwent 40 surgeries, was paralyzed for more than seven weeks, was on a respirator for three months and spent 43 of his first 52 weeks in a hospital, according to the lawsuit.
“To date, Jacob Lerner has undergone over 100 surgical procedures to attempt to remedy, at least partially, some of his defects,” according to the lawsuit.
The suit alleges the doctors had the obligation to tell the Lerners of the problems with the woman’s fetus before it became viable.
“Instead, defendants at times affirmatively recorded all fetal organs and other systems as normal,” the suit states.