Many states throughout the country have laws that limit the amount of noneconomic damages that a medical malpractice victim may recover. In California, for example, the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) caps noneconomic damages at $350,000 as of 2023. (California Civil Code section 3333.2)
Noneconomic damages, which include things like emotional distress, pain and suffering, and mental anguish, are typically the biggest item of damage suffered by victims of fertility negligence. If damages caps exist in their state, fertility clinics and their insurance companies will ALWAYS argue that they apply.
An experienced fertility lawyer can potentially avoid damage caps by arguing that fertility misconduct involves more than just medical malpractice, and therefore should not be subject to any damages caps established by the state legislature. One way to do this is by focusing on additional claims such as medical battery, fraud, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. These claims are typically not limited by state damages caps, and a good lawyer can build a case that demonstrates that these claims are integral to the injuries suffered, and therefore should not be subject to such damages caps.
Medical battery is a claim that a medical professional performed a medical procedure without the patient’s consent. In fertility misconduct cases, this could include using the wrong sperm or egg, or performing a procedure without fully informing the patient of the risks involved.
Fraud is a claim that a medical professional made false or misleading statements to a patient in order to induce them to undergo a medical procedure. In fertility misconduct cases, this could include lying about the success rates of a procedure or the qualifications of the medical professional performing the procedure.
Intentional infliction of emotional distress is a claim that a medical professional’s actions caused severe emotional distress to a patient. In fertility misconduct cases, this could include causing the patient to give birth to a child that is not biologically theirs, or causing them to experience the loss of a pregnancy.
Another important aspect to consider is that some fertility clinics have been known to cover up their mistakes such as sperm mixups or lost embryos, which could be another basis for a claim of fraud and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Patients have the right to know the truth about their medical treatment and when a clinic is not transparent it could lead to a violation of that right.
It’s important to note that these arguments are complex and require the help of an experienced fertility misconduct lawyer who knows the laws and regulations in the jurisdiction. Our legal team helps families navigate the complex laws and regulations that govern fertility clinics, and can help to ensure that victims receive the compensation they deserve.
If you believe that you have been the victim of fertility misconduct and have questions about your rights, please contact us for a free, confidential consultation. We understand how devastating these cases can be and strive to be a resource for victims and their families.