Woman would have terminated pregnancy had she known of defect, suit claims

Kelly Holleran May 13, 2010, 3:39am

The mother of a child born with abnormalities has filed suit against Midwest Associates Radiological, Alton Memorial Hospital and a doctor, alleging she would have had an abortion had she known of her child's birth defects before his/her birth.

Amber Gray claims defendant Dr. Samuel Essma failed to diagnose her child with Amniotic Band Syndrome before his/her birth. Amniotic Band Syndrome leads to birth defects caused after an unborn child's extremities remain trapped in amniotic bands throughout a pregnancy.

Gray also says Essma negligently based a second-trimester finding of a normal ultrasound on incomplete information, including the fact that her unborn child's extremities were only partially visible; failed to order subsequent ultrasounds until all four of the child's extremities were visible; failed to fully capture all four extremities while performing an ultrasound; and indicated the presence of a left foot when that foot was not present.

"Plaintiff was denied the opportunity to discover her unborn child's disorder, and thus denied the chance to terminate her pregnancy," the suit filed May 3 in Madison County Circuit Court states. "Had she learned of the disorder, she would have so terminated."

Because she gave birth to a child with Amniotic Band Syndrome, Gray has incurred extraordinary expenses for medical, hospital, institutional, educational and other costs required to manage and treat her child's disorder, the complaint says.

In her three-count complaint, Gray seeks a judgment of more than $225,000, plus costs.

Thomas Q. Keefe Jr. of Belleville will be representing her.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-476.

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