Wisconsin couple wanted birth control, got vitamins and a pregnancy instead

Birth control pills rect.jpg
A clinic's mistake blessed a Wisconsin couple with a baby, but cursed them with the cost of raising him.
A few years ago, Shelby Nell went to West Bend, Wisconsin's Froedtert & Community Health Clinic to get a birth control prescription. The clinic mistakenly gave her vitamins instead.

SEE ALSO: St. Paul pigeons get free birth control

Before Nell and her partner, Austin Omernick, realized she was taking vitamin E instead of the desired estrogen and progestogen, she was pregnant, and she ended up gaving birth to a healthy boy in 2009.

But Nell and Omernick sued the clinic, alleging that due to medical malpractice, it should be responsible for all costs associated with raising their boy until he's 18.

Today, an appeals court ruled against the couple. Compensating them for all costs associated with raising the child "raises too many avenues for fraud," says an AP report on the ruling. But not all is lost for Nell and Omernick -- the court ruled they can still sue the clinic for "pain and suffering" incurred during Nell's pregnancy.

If they go that route, the lawsuit could be a tough thing to explain to little Johnny when he gets a bit older. "Your new bike, son, is thanks to all the pain and suffering you caused mommy while you were inside her." But then again, if the clinic hadn't messed up (or if Nell opted for an abortion), he wouldn't exist in the first place.

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16 comments
alxivm
alxivm

If the vitamins came in a medication vial as opposed to a blister pack (which ALL oral contraceptives are packaged in), how can she sue? There is personal accountability here that seems to be missing. Everyone should be inspecting their medications when they come home from a pharmacy or clinic anyway, because mistakes happen all the time.  [Personal experience- I have worked in a pharmacy for 7+ years. Always check whatcha got]

Rachel Vickrey
Rachel Vickrey

How does a person mistake vitamins for birth control pills?

Branden Strot
Branden Strot

probably could make a few bucks selling the kid on the black market?

Preston Palmer
Preston Palmer

You cannot just rely on birth control. That couple made the decision to have sex and got pregnant. But somehow that is the clinics fault? Yes the clinic might have made a mistake but that clinic should not be held responsible for their actions.

Melissa Peterson
Melissa Peterson

Where is personal accountability? A prenatal vitamin looks VERY different from a BCP. Duh!

McLain Causey
McLain Causey

The fraud rationale for denying the suit is nonsense. Clinics are going to start malpracticing and getting into embarrassing public lawsuits so that they can go bankrupt raising people's children? I don't follow the logic here.

Erik Seavey
Erik Seavey

Maybe the costs of birth and prenatal care. They could have opted for an abortion, if they felt that strongly aboutit.

Yankee Doodle Pablo
Yankee Doodle Pablo

I should get compensated for the pain and suffering as a result of reading this story.

Amanda Moore
Amanda Moore

Yes, to a certain extent, like Chad^ said. They have a baby now because of the hospital, and the hospital needs to take responsibility for their actions.

Juliet Kembitskey
Juliet Kembitskey

Maybe its just me but the difference between bc pills and prenatals are very clear.

Chad Lahn
Chad Lahn

Yes. Although I think going for the full costs of raising the child to 18 is ridiculous.

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