Shaffer & Gaier secured a settlement for the parents of a child who unfortunately contracted a severe and rare genetic disorder that was missed through genetic testing. The clients were residents of Sacramento, California. Before having children they sought genetic counseling. The father had a rare genetic condition called Ehlers-Danlos (EDS) Syndrome that ran in his family. EDS is a genetic disorder that causes severe vascular and connective tissue complications; EDS is often fatal.

Our clients sought genetic counseling to determine if the father was a carrier of EDS. The family wanted the genetic counseling to plan a pregnancy because if the father was a carrier they could have had a child through in vitro fertilization (IVF) which would have ensured that the gene did not pass to the child.

In 2005 the father had blood work which was sent to the Defendant’s lab in Allentown PA. The defendant’s lab informed the father that the test was negative for EDS. The parents were understandably relieved and had their children naturally. In 2012, the father developed severe complications that were similar to EDS. He had new genetic testing done and it was unfortunately confirmed that he was, in fact, a carrier for EDS. A tragic error was created because the lab misread the first test. Thereafter, the parents had their son tested and it was confirmed that their son had EDS. This tragedy could have been prevented had the initial testing been done properly.

Shaffer & Gaier secured the leading genetic experts in the country which established that the Defendants made a crucial mistake. Had the test been run properly their son would have avoided the condition because the parents could have conceived through IVF. The case was filed in Federal Court in Pennsylvania As the case was preparing for trial Shaffer & Gaier were able to negotiate the settlement that will ensure that the child has future care for his medical expenses.