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Tuesday 26 March 2019
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Husband sues for wrongful birth

A FATHER of three, unable to afford more children, decided to have a vasectomy to prevent his wife becoming pregnant.

He got more than he bargained for: twins.

The 42-year-old husband from south Trinidad has sued the doctor and nursing home involved in a negligence lawsuit for “wrongful birth,” said to be the first of its kind in the Caribbean.

The husband is petitioning a High Court judge to award him damages for stress, the extra money he must now spend on the twins – a boy and a girl – including having to buy a bigger vehicle to transport his five children.

He is keeping bills daily, from since they were born in 2014, for things he has bought for the two children. The husband named as defendants the doctor and the clinic he is contending are responsible for the botched vasectomy.

A vasectomy is a surgical procedure done on a man which stops sperm leaving the testicles so that he cannot impregnate a woman.

The lawsuit outlined the couple’s predicament of not being financially secure enough to increase their household to five.

In September 2013, the husband said, he visited the doctor, who said the procedure involved cutting a vessel in each testicle and sending it to a laboratory for confirmation. The man agreed to the surgery, which cost $3,300.

The next month the doctor assured him the surgery was successful. But in March 2014, the husband said in his lawsuit, his wife became pregnant. The following month, a gynaecologist told the couple they were expecting twins.

“The claimant (husband) and his wife took this news very badly since the purpose of the surgery was to prevent him fathering more children,” the man’s lawyer deposed in the lawsuit. It said on the gynaecologist’s advice, the husband underwent a semenology test which showed that despite the surgery, he still had a healthy sperm count.

The couple’s twins are now five years old. In the lawsuit, the husband said he has had to take a loan to buy a station wagon to hold his larger family. He also has to work his car “PH” when he is off duty from his regular job to meet additional expenses. The twins’ clothing and nutritional needs have increased, he added.

Complaining that his and his wife’s lives have become too stressful, the husband said they have to take additional sick leave from work to care for their five children. He is asking the court to order the doctor to pay for the hardship they are experiencing.

The doctor has replied to the lawsuit, saying through his attorney that on March 26, 2014, the husband visited his office and complained about the surgery and about his wife giving birth to twins. The doctor said the husband made a claim for $2 million, a seven-seater car and money to rent a five-bedroom apartment.

The case will be heard in the San Fernando High Court next month.

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