JASON BLOUIN, INDIVIDUALLY, AND AS FATHER AND NEXT FRIEND OF QUENTIN BLOUIN, XAVIER BLOUIN, AND DECLAN BLOUIN, and HEATHER BLOUIN, INDIVIDUALLY
DIVYA KOSTER, M.D., JOSEPH SINGER, M.D., PATRICIA LYNCH-GADALETA, PA-C, RIVERSIDE PEDIATRICS, INC., KAREN L. MCGOLDRICK, M.D., SANTINA L. SIENA, and UNIVERSITY OB-GYN, INC.
County Superior Court
law is reason free from passion." - Aristotle
Plaintiff: Paul P. Baillargeon, Esq.
Defendant: Paul F. Galamaga, Esq.; Joshua E. Carlin, Esq.
Blouin (Mrs. Blouin) and Jason Blouin (Mr. Blouin)
(collectively, Parents or Plaintiffs)-brought the instant
Complaint alleging negligence against Defendants individually
and on behalf of their sons Quentin Blouin (Quentin), Xavier
Blouin (Xavier) and Declan Blouin (Declan) (collectively,
Children or Plaintiffs). Defendants-Divya Koster, M.D.
(Koster), Joseph Singer, M.D. (Singer), Patricia
Lynch-Gadaleta, PA-C (Lynch-Gadaleta), Riverside Pediatrics,
Inc. (Riverside), Karen L. McGoldrick, M.D. (McGoldrick),
Santina L. Siena, M.D. (Siena), and University OB-GYN, Inc.
(University) (collectively, Defendants)-have moved to dismiss
all but four counts of the Complaint pursuant to Rule
12(b)(6) of the Superior Court Rules of Civil Procedure. For
the reasons set forth in this Decision, the Court denies the
Defendants' motions in part and grants them in part.
Mrs. Blouin are the parents of Quentin, Xavier, and Declan,
all of whom are minors. After the birth of their third child,
Declan, Mr. and Mrs. Blouin became aware that they were both
carriers for cystic fibrosis (CF). Due to the fact that both
parents are carriers of CF, any children born to Mr. and Mrs.
Blouin have a twenty-five percent chance of contracting the
genetic disorder. Mr. and Mrs. Blouins' two youngest
children, Xavier and Declan, have been diagnosed with CF.
Following Xavier and Declan's diagnoses, Mr. and Mrs.
Blouin brought the instant Complaint. The facts relevant to
the motions as alleged in the Complaint are as follows.
after March 1, 2005, Mrs. Blouin became pregnant with her
first child, Quentin. During that pregnancy, Mrs. Blouin was
under the care of her OB-GYN, McGoldrick. Prior to
Quentin's conception, McGoldrick did not conduct any
genetic screening or testing to determine whether Mr. or Mrs.
Blouin were carriers for CF. On January 21, 2006, Mrs. Blouin
gave birth to Quentin, who was born without CF. Sometime
thereafter, Mrs. Blouin discussed with McGoldrick her
intention to conceive a second child. In December of 2008,
Mrs. Blouin became pregnant with her second child, Xavier.
Once again, neither Mr. Blouin nor Mrs. Blouin received
genetic testing or screening to determine whether they were
carriers for CF prior to conceiving Xavier or during that
was born on September 20, 2009. Two days later, he received a
Newborn Screening Test (NST), which did not detect the
presence of CF or any other genetic abnormality. However,
over the next three years, Xavier paid numerous visits to
Riverside where he was treated by Koster, Singer and
Lynch-Gadaleta for reoccurring CF symptoms including chronic
coughs, severe congestion, chest and lung infections,
abnormal bowel movements, malnutrition, and failure to
thrive. Despite his symptoms, at no time during any of
Xavier's visits to Riverside did Koster, Singer or
Lynch-Gadaleta mention the possibility that Xavier might
suffer from CF or diagnose Xavier with CF.
February 7, 2011, Mrs. Blouin was seen by Siena at
University. During her appointment, Mrs. Blouin informed
Siena that she was planning to conceive a third child within
the next three or four months. On or about January 2012, Mrs.
Blouin became pregnant with her third child, Declan. Siena
did not offer Mr. Blouin or Mrs. Blouin preconception
screening in order to determine whether they were carriers
for CF prior to Declan's conception. On September 10,
2012, Mrs. Blouin gave birth to Declan. An NST performed on
Declan two days later revealed that Declan had tested
positive for CF. On September 10, 2012, Declan underwent a
sweat test through Lifespan Laboratories, which confirmed the
results of the earlier NST. Despite Declan's diagnosis,
none of the Defendants recommended that Xavier or Quentin be
retested for CF.
December 21, 2012, Mrs. Blouin informed Singer that due to
Declan's diagnosis, she had been advised to have Xavier
and Quentin tested for CF. On January 2, 2013, Xavier
underwent a sweat test, which showed abnormally high levels
of chloride, a symptom of CF. On June 28, 2013, Mrs. Blouin
reported to Singer that Xavier had tested positive for CF. On
or about July 2013, both Declan and Xavier were positively
diagnosed with CF. Further, on August 1, 2013, Xavier was
diagnosed with Celiac Disease. During 2013, Mrs. Blouin
continuously reported suffering from high stress and anxiety
levels out of concern for the health and well- being of
Xavier and Declan. She has since been treated and prescribed
medication for severe anxiety and stress.
August 31, 2015, the Parents filed the instant Complaint. The
Parents-individually and as next friends of the
Children-allege that the Defendants negligently breached the
required standard of care when they 1) failed to counsel or
offer genetic counseling to the Parents regarding the
likelihood that their Children would inherit CF; 2) failed to
timely treat Xavier for CF; and 3) failed to timely diagnose
Xavier with CF prior to the birth of Declan. The Complaint
alleges that had the Parents known that they were carriers of
CF they would not have conceived the Children. Moreover, the
Complaint alleges that had the Defendants timely diagnosed
Xavier, the Parents would not have conceived Declan.
Counts 1-5 of the Complaint, the Parents seek damages for
emotional distress and the extraordinary medical expenses
they have incurred and will continue to incur for the
treatment and care of Xavier and Declan. In Counts 6-11 of
the Complaint, Xavier and Declan-through the Parents as next
friends-seek damages for the extraordinary medical expenses
they will incur upon reaching majority and in the event that
they outlive their parents. In Counts 12-21 of the Complaint,
the Parents seek damages for loss of consortium. In addition,
in Counts 22-26 of the Complaint, Quentin-through the Parents
as next friends-has alleged loss of consortium claims against
the Defendants. In Counts 27-36, the Parents have alleged
respondeat superior against Riverside and University for the
alleged negligence of Singer, Koster, Lynch-Gadaleta, Siena,
the Defendants separately filed motions to dismiss all but
four counts of the Complaint. This Court notes that
McGoldrick has not moved to dismiss Count 1, which alleges
that due to her negligent failure to offer genetic screening
or properly counsel the Parents as to the dangers of CF,
McGoldrick is liable to the Parents for the wrongful births
of Xavier and Declan. Moreover, McGoldrick has not moved to
dismiss Counts 12, 17, and 22, which allege loss of
consortium claims on behalf of Mrs. Blouin, Mr. Blouin, and
Quentin. In her motion to dismiss, McGoldrick has only moved
to dismiss Counts 6 and 7, which allege that due to her
negligence, McGoldrick is liable for the extraordinary