In a case of so-called "wrongful conception," an Oakland County woman is suing her doctor for the stress caused by an unplanned pregnancy.
Lori Cichewicz said her doctor was unable to perform a permanent birth control procedure on her in 2008 because he found her fallopian tubes were already blocked. She said he assured her she could not get pregnant, and told her she didn't need to take contraceptives.
Cichewicz gave birth to a child with Down Syndrome in April 2011.
"She’s full of life, loving, kind, sweet, everything you could ever imagine," Cichewicz described her daughter, Reagan, now five-years-old.
Cichewicz said Reagan is adored by her big brother and her father, Cichewicz's boyfriend.
But she said she is seeking damages for the emotional distress caused by the unplanned pregnancy. The 50-year-old mother said the thought of raising a child with special needs at her age, the added financial burden, and her doctor's broken promise all took an emotional toll.
“I’m older, I don’t know, will I see her graduate college? Will I see her go to college? Will I see her get married? Will I see her graduate high school? All this is going through my mind," Cichewicz said.
Tim Takala, Cichewicz's attorney, said the lawsuit seeks to keep Cichewicz's doctor accountable for his alleged misguidance that Cichewicz could not get pregnant and did not need to take contraceptives.
“That’s advice that misled Lori and caused her to go down and make a decision that she never should have had to make," Takala said.
Cichewicz said there was never any question whether she would have Reagan.
"I mean, I can’t imagine life without her now. When they say having a child with special needs is a gift, it’s a gift," she said.
When the case goes to trial sometime within the next few months, the jury will be able to consider the fact Cichewicz knew she would have a child with Down Syndrome.
Calls to Cichewicz' doctor and his attorney weren't returned Thursday.