By Dave Andrusko
A New York appeals court has upheld a jury verdict which denied a request for physical and emotional damages to a couple who sued the University of Rochester Medical Center, Strong Memorial Hospital, and the director of the university’s Cytogenetics Laboratory, Nancy Wang, because of an abortion Collette Alger had after she was mistakenly told her baby would suffer a disability.
The confirmation of the January 29 jury verdict by a panel of the Fourth Judicial Department in the Appellate Division did not specify what disability Collette and Jeffrey Alger were mistakenly told their baby would have.
The issue was not whether the diagnosis was incorrect. It was rather the jury’s conclusion that the negligence “was not a proximate cause of plaintiffs’ injuries,” a verdict which the higher New York court declined to overturn.
“We conclude that there is a fair interpretation of the evidence pursuant to which the jury could have found that defendants Hospital and Wang were negligent in reporting erroneous test results to plaintiffs, but that their negligence did not proximately cause plaintiffs’ injuries,” the five-member panel concluded in its February 7 two-page decision.