The parents of a Wanaque, New Jersey boy born with severe birth defects have won a $1.5 million settlement in their wrongful birth lawsuit against Physicians for Women of Wayne. The parents alleged that medical professionals responsible for reading a 19-1/2 week sonogram failed to observe a hand defect and diagnosed the pregnancy as normal. Upon his birth in 1997, Michael Matasker was diagnosed with CHARGE Syndrome, a group of birth defects that, in Matasker’s case, include deformed hands, heart anomalies, and brain conditions that cause incurable cognitive difficulties.
“Discovery of the defect from the sonogram would have led to more tests that would have shown the multiple deformities,” says Robert Hicks, an attorney who represented the family. By the time the problems were picked up, in a later ultrasound performed when the mother began preterm labor, it was too late to terminate the pregnancy, Hicks says. The $1.5 million settlement will fund a special-needs trust for Matasker.