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Birth Injury Lawsuit Filed Claiming Link to Carcinogen in School

When a family suffers complications during a pregnancy or while giving birth, they often have many questions about what caused the issue and whether it could have been prevented. Losing a child or having a child born with health problems is one of the more difficult experiences that local families can go through. Yet, for all of the questions that families have in the aftermath, our Chicago birth injury attorneys know that they often face difficulty getting honest answers from those who might be able to explain what happened. Of course, at times involved medical professionals simply cannot identify with certainty why a particular problem may have developed. But at other times, the doctors may have suspicions about causes but remain silent because those causes might point to negligence on the part of another. Many Illinois birth injury lawsuits arise in just those situations.

Birth injury lawsuits are appropriate when the misconduct of others leads to problems during pregnancy or birth. Usually the misconduct is done by the medical professionals involved. But that need not always be the case. One example of this was recently highlighted in a NY Daily News story this week. The case involves a young mother-to-be who was working as a fifth grade teacher at an inner-city school when she learned that she was pregnant. Tragically, only five months into her pregnancy she learned that her developing baby had a malformed brain. The condition was known as anecephaly, and it is fatal to the child.

Following the lost pregnancy the teacher has filed a birth injury lawsuit against the school where she worked, claiming that the condition of the school building caused her child to develop the deadly abnormality. As part of the complaint which initiated the case, the plaintiff explained that tests performed at the school a few months before the woman learned of her pregnancy showed that it was laden with a carcinogen known as trichloroethylene (TCE). The carcinogen has previously been linked to birth defects. Even though the tests were conduct in a January, it wasn’t until July of that year when teachers were warned about the problem. As a result of the delay, the teacher in this case was not given the chance to consider the effect that the toxin may have on the development of her child. The couple’s attorney explained, “The whole tragic nature of the situation was made worse by the fact it could have been avoided if the Department of Education had acted properly.” Not only should the school have warned students and staff earlier, but the complaint also notes that they should have tested the school years before. Putting these educational spaces in industrial buildings comes with a variety of risks that must be accounted for.

This particular birth injury case is unique in that the family ever learned at all about the potential link between the toxin and the defect. Many families in similar situations are never made aware of the possibility that the negligence of those in a work environment might have contributed to the problem. The mother here only considered the possibility after conducting extensive research on her own to better understand why her child may have developed anecephaly. She soon discovered the link to the toxin and the presence of that toxin at her own school. A growing body of research suggests that TCE increase fetal problems.

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