Mother wins $16,000,000 compensation for 'wrongful birth' of disabled son

A mother has received $16 million in compensation for the “wrongful birth” of her son who she would have aborted had she known he would be born disabled.

In 2006 Omodele Meadows, 40, checked to see if she carried the gene for an aggressive form of haemophilia and autism after learning her nephew carried it.

Doctors gave her the all clear and four years later she gave birth to Adejuwon, who was diagnosed with the crippling disease.

Following his birth, she underwent detailed genetic testing that confirmed she did in fact carry the gene.

She went on to sue GP Dr Hafshah Khan, who worked in the south London practice when Ms Meadows saw her in 2006.

Omodele Meadows checked to see if she carried the gene after her nephew was born with the disease. Source: Getty
Omodele Meadows checked to see if she carried the gene after her nephew was born with the disease. Source: Getty

The tests were arranged by another GP and could confirm if she had haemophilia, but could not determine whether Meadows was a carrier of the gene.

The court heard that Meadows was told the results were normal, leaving her with the impression that any children would also be cleared of the condition.

The judge emphasised that Adejuwon, who is now six-years-old, was not an unwanted child in the eyes of his mother but rather, she had witnessed the impact of the condition and wanted to avoid putting her own child through that pain.

“It cannot be easy for any mother to contend bluntly that her child should not have been born,” High Court judge Mrs Justice Yip told the court.

“She had specifically sought to avoid bringing a child with haemophilia into the world, knowing the suffering that the condition causes.

The 40-year-old mother was awarded more than $16 million for the 'wrongful birth' of her son. Source: Getty
The 40-year-old mother was awarded more than $16 million for the 'wrongful birth' of her son. Source: Getty

“The fact that she says clearly that she would have terminated her pregnancy had she known the baby would have haemophilia is not the same at all as saying that Adejuwon is now an unwanted child."

Justice Yip added that Ms Meadows was entitled to additional costs associated with both conditions and awarded her more than $16 million (£9 million).

“It appears that he is much loved and well cared for. The burden of caring for him, though, is much greater than the burden of caring for a ‘normal’, healthy child and extends far beyond the purely financial cost,” she added.

“Although this is a claim for her loss, I do not doubt that her primary motive in bringing this claim is to provide a better life for her son.”

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