In 2010 Matthew and Danielle Cremisio made the biggest decision of their lives. They wanted to get pregnant, but soon realized that they would need professional assistance to do so. After some research they decided to hire CNY Fertility, a clinic located in Syracuse, NY. Before implantation the couple requested that CNY Fertility run a series of genetic testing to rule out any potential birth defects. But according to a malpractice lawsuit filed by the Cremisios in 2012, one year after the birth of their daughter Mattia, the fertility clinic allegedly never executed the cystic fibrosis genetic marker test. And sure enough their daughter was born with that genetic disorder.
After hearing the case in September 2016, a Schenectady County jury awarded the Cremisios $7.5 million after finding CNY Fertility negligent. And just last month, the judgment was upheld by Justice Richard T. Aulisi, a New York Supreme Court judge, who agreed with the results of the initial trial that found the defendants liable. CNY Fertility challenged the ruling, but were denied by Aulisi. The judge did, however, grant the clinic a separate hearing to argue that the insurance company should cover some of the expense.
“It’s a terrible, insidious disease and we’re obviously hoping that the therapies will continue to improve and she’ll have a normal healthy life for the foreseeable future, but it’s a daily struggle” said the Cremisio’s attorney.
Mattia’s cystic fibrosis, which attacks the lungs, pancreas, liver, and intestines, forced her mother to quit her teaching job to stay home so she could care for her ailing daughter. The couple also moved to Florida from Niskayuna, NY so that Mattia could spend more time outdoors. If they had known there was a high probability of their child contracting the disease they may not have gone ahead with the planned pregnancy. Of the $7.5 million, more than $2.1 million was allocated for the compensation of Danielle’s future and past economic losses. Another $3.1 million has been slated to cover Mattia’s medication.
“It’s a very unique disease and the jury listened to the evidence on that and decided that was appropriate,” said the lawyer representing the Cremisio family, “and we strongly believe correctly.”