On December 14, 2017, a 5-1 majority of the Court of Appeals held that although the 2 ½-year statute of limitations for medical malpractice actions normally runs from the malpractice, a new judicially created exception now applies to so-called “wrongful birth” actions alleging that a fertility center failed to properly screen an egg donor for chromosomal abnormalities. Due to the “unique” nature of these claims, the Court held that the statute of limitations runs from the birth of the child, and not from the malpractice.
In B.F. v. Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York, two sets of parents sought in vitro fertilization from Defendants, who matched them with an anonymous egg donor and implanted each mother with a fertilized embryo using the donor’s eggs. Both mothers later gave birth without complications, after which Defendants learned the egg donor had tested positive for the Fragile X trait; a chromosomal abnormality that can result in intellectual disabilities and other deficits. Defendants then notified both sets of parents, and testing later confirmed that both mothers had given birth to children with the Fragile X mutation.