Couple Sues Surgeon For Costs of Raising Child Born After Vasectomy
Husband and wife in their 40s want compensation for "challenges" associated with birth of their son.
Published: March 7, 2011
A couple in their 40s is suing the doctor who performed the husband's vasectomy for expenses related to the pregnancy, birth and raising of a child they had 2 years after the procedure.
Scott and Donnita Bassinger, a married couple in their 40s, decided to stop growing their family and, in March 2007, Scott had a vasectomy performed by Stephan Schepergerdes, MD, of the Oregon Medical Group in Eugene. A few months later, after submitting a semen sample to test whether the procedure worked, Dr. Schepergerdes' staff reportedly informed Mr. Bassinger that his semen contained no sperm. So imagine the family's surprise when, in December 2008, they learned that Donnita was pregnant.
According to the $650,000 lawsuit the Bassingers filed against Dr. Schepergerdes and his medical group, the doctor allegedly noted in his records that he had difficulty dissecting Mr. Bassinger's tubes during the procedure, but this message was never conveyed to the couple. The suit also alleges that the lab report on Mr. Bassinger's July 2007 semen sample showed that the sperm in the sample was "too numerous to count," even though the couple was told that he'd been rendered sterile.
Accusing the physician and medical group of "professional misrepresentation" and "negligence" in failing to disclose the difficulties during the procedure and to properly interpret the lab results, the couple is suing for $35,000 to cover medical care related to the pregnancy and the baby's birth by Cesarean section, $500,00 to cover the expenses of raising the child and $140,000 for his college education.
In a statement e-mailed to the Eugene Register-Guard, the couple said they are "thankful" for their son but noted the "challenges of raising a child late in life and the increased medical risks one faces when having a baby at age 42." They say they're suing over "professional negligence, misrepresentation and the risk our family was subjected to."
Dr. Schepergerdes and the Oregon Medical Group did not return calls seeking their comments on the lawsuit.
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