Lieff Cabraser Civil Justice Blog
Wendy Fleishman on Birth Claims Timing

Wendy Fleishman in Law360 on NY Court’s Thoughtful Resolution of Challenging Legal Issue in Newborn Injury Case

As reported by Law360, New York’s highest court has issued a ruling in favor of two couples whose children were born with genetic defects that would have been avoided had the fertility clinic involved been forthcoming about the medical condition of the egg donor. The case’s progression hinged on a timing issue, that of when the statute of limitations should be held to run for the couples to take legal action. The clinic argued the couples’ window for a lawsuit should open at embryo implantation; the couples’ argument was that it should instead run from the time of birth — the point where the couples could reasonably have discovered the problem and when the extraordinary medical expenses for dealing with the problem would commence.

“It is a well-reasoned, thoughtful opinion,” said Wendy R. Fleishman of Lieff Cabraser. “The court addressed an extraordinarily difficult question with a reasonable, practical solution.”

While noting that the deadline for filing most malpractice claims begins to run when the negligence occurs, there are exceptions for atypical cases where other circumstances mandate a sensible delay. “This date appropriately balances the competing statute of limitations policy concerns — it gives parents a reasonable opportunity to bring suit, while at the same time limiting claims in a manner that provides certainty and predictability to medical professionals engaged in fertility treatment and prenatal care,” the court said.

About Wendy Fleishman

A partner in Lieff Cabraser’s New York office, Wendy Fleishman is a passionate and experienced lawyer for the injured and the loved ones of those who died due to the wrongful misconduct of others. With more than thirty years of courtroom experience to draw upon, a large part of Wendy’s practice today consists of representing patients prescribed drugs with undisclosed and dangerous side effects or who received defective medical devices.

Ms. Fleishman has served in leadership roles in significant multidistrict litigation cases in federal and state courts involving pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices, and personal health products. These cases include: the Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG-II Hip Implant Litigation, Zimmer Durom Cup Hip Implant Litigation, Yaz and Yasmin LitigationDePuy Hip Implant LitigationMedtronic Sprint Fidelis Heart Lead, the Guidant Cardiac Defibrillator, the Ortho Evra Patch Litigation, and contaminated contact lens solution litigation against Bausch & Lomb and Abbott Medical Optics.