Guelph General, others, hit with $89.5 million lawsuit
March 8, 2023
GUELPH, Ont. – Two Guelph institutions, along with a list of named and unnamed medical personnel, are facing an $89.5-million lawsuit after a child was born with a rare genetic disorder the parents say should have been spotted before her birth.
According to the statement of claim, filed in the London Superior Court of Justice late last month, the parents of the unnamed child allege the medical professionals at Guelph General Hospital, Guelph Medical Imaging and Kitchener Area Reproductive Medicine Associates (KARMA) were negligent in failing to spot that the child had Joubert syndrome.
The child’s five-year-old sibling is also listed as a plaintiff in the lawsuit alongside the parents, the Guelph Mercury reported.
Guelph General Hospital declined to comment for this story. Guelph Medical Imaging and KARMA did not respond to several requests for comment prior to publication.
According to the National Institutes of Health’s Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center, Joubert syndrome is a rare genetic condition characterized by either the absence or underdevelopment of the cerebellar vermis, the part of the brain that controls balance and co-ordination, as well as a malformed brain stem. Jouberts, according to NINDS, can result in kidney and liver abnormalities, seizures and physical deformities, among other symptoms.
Fewer than 5,000 people in the United States have Jouberts.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, the long-term outlook for those with Joubert varies, with some children having minor symptoms and normal development, while others can experience “significant problems with development, severe impairment in function and organ involvement.”
In their statement of claim, the parents say had they “been properly informed, and received proper investigation, diagnosis, treatment, care, advice and representation by the defendants,” they would have “chosen to electively terminate the pregnancy” or “not have consented to life saving measures” when the child was born.