One Ontario couple found themselves with a baby, despite believing they had been sterilized. Jim and Jen, who opted to keep their surnames out of the public eye, are suing the hospital and the medical staff involved in the botched procedure for $800,000.
According to CTV News, the couple was already happy with their three children when they made the decision for Jen to have her tubes tied. They agreed for the procedure to be carried out when Jen delivered her twins via C-section at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. However, unbeknownst to them, the doctors never performed the procedure.
Putting her full faith in the medical professionals, Jen was stunned when she discovered she was pregnant again when her twins were 10 months old. Initially deciding that they couldn't afford another child, they opted for an abortion, but soon realized they couldn't go through with it.
Their fourth baby was born in February of 2013, and despite loving her, the couple feels like they've been dealt a difficult hand by the hospital. After all, they argue, if you lost a limb through medical malpractice, you would get compensation. Or, as Jim puts it, if a man got a woman pregnant, they would have to pay child support. Shouldn't they get compensation, too?
When the couple approached the hospital after getting pregnant, Mount Sinai launched an investigation. What they found was categorized as a communication error. Nurses, doctors and administration staff failed to spot the procedure on paperwork, despite safety nets put in place to ensure this sort of thing never happens. The couple filed a wrongful pregnancy lawsuit against the hospital that same year, but it's taken this long for the case to go trial. In fact, it won't hit the courts until next spring.
Cases like this are seldom heard of, but they aren't entirely unique. One Ontario family in a similar situation was granted $40,000 toward the cost of lost wages back in 1996, but the judge was quick to point out that having a child was not "a harm." In 1999, a UK court ruled that no damages should be given to a family unless the child was born with some sort of special needs that required financial aid.