Couple claims they would have terminated pregnancy had they known of child's disorder

By Kelly Holleran | Feb 25, 2014

A woman and her husband claim they would have terminated their pregnancy had they known about their child’s undiagnosed disorder.

Mary and Michael Cotton filed a lawsuit Feb. 13 in the St. Clair County Court against Dr. Joseph Shumway and HSHS Medical Group.

The Cottons claim their child, who was born Feb. 14, 2012, had DiGeorge syndrome, a condition that occurs with the deletion of a chromosome. Children with the syndrome can exhibit various symptoms, including congenital heart disease, defects in the palate, learning disabilities, mild differences in facial features and recurrent infections.

The Cottons claim Shumway failed to inform them of their child’s defect, which would have allowed them to terminate the pregnancy. Because of their child’s condition, the Cottons suffered mental anguish and emotional distress and incurred medical costs, according to the complaint.

They blame Shumway for inflicting the distress on them, saying he negligently failed to diagnose their unborn child with a chromosomal abnormality, failed to check with the laboratory after receiving unexpected test results, failed to recognize the clinical signs and symptoms of DiGeroge Syndrome and failed to order additional genetic testing, among other negligent actions.

The Cottons seek a judgment of more than $300,000, plus costs.

They are being represented by Samantha S. Unsell of Keefe and Keefe in Belleville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 14-L-149.

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