San Diego Wrongful Life Attorneys

Understanding Wrongful Life Claims & How We Can Help

“Claims for ‘wrongful life’ are essentially actions for malpractice based on negligent genetic counseling and testing.” (Gami v. Mullikin Medical Center (1993) 18 Cal.App.4th 870, 883 [22 Cal.Rptr.2d 819].)

California is currently one of only a few states that permit wrongful life lawsuits, which are legal actions asserted by an individual who was born with a genetic disease. They were first recognized by the California Supreme Court in Turpin v. Sortini in 1982 where it was determined that a physician could be liable for failing to inform parents of the potential risk of a child being born with birth defects. Furthermore, this case found that minors have the right to sue for damages for the malpractice committed while they were a fetus / embryo.

In wrongful life claims, the child will sue either a healthcare professional or a hospital for the failure to provide information regarding the risk of themselves being born with either a genetic impairment or disability.

In such cases, it is argued that had the mother been made aware of such information, she would have chosen either to not conceive at all or to not carry the pregnancy to full term. Children who are asserting wrongful life cannot recover special damages such as pain and suffering; they can only recover provable economic damages.

To discuss your own situation with a caring wrongful life attorney, contact The McClellan Law Firm as soon as possible. We offer completely free, confidential consultations where we can discuss your legal options.

What Elements Must Be Proven in Wrongful Life Claims?

The California Civil Jury Instructions state that the following must be proven to establish a claim:

  • The defendant failed to diagnose / warn plaintiff’s parents of the risk of the plaintiff being born with a genetic impairment / disability—or the defendant failed to perform tests / advise plaintiff’s parents of tests that would likely disclose the risk of the plaintiff being born with a genetic impairment / disability.

  • The plaintiff was born with a genetic impairment / disability.

  • If plaintiff’s parents had known about the genetic impairment / disability, his/her mother would not have conceived the plaintiff or would not have carried the fetus to term.

  • The defendant’s negligence substantially caused the plaintiff’s parents to pay extraordinary expenses.

Talk to Our Caring San Diego Injury Lawyers: (619) 215-1488

If you believe that you have grounds to pursue a wrongful life lawsuit, we encourage you to contact our San Diego personal injury law firm as soon as possible. These cases are highly complicated as they center on the concept of the value of life itself. They require the attention of a powerful attorney. At The McClellan Law Firm, we have handled wrongful birth cases before and are ready to guide you with compassionate, respectful, and effective counsel.

If you would like to discuss the specifics of your scenario, call us at (619) 215-1488.

To learn more about wrongful birth cases, where the parents are the ones suing for damages, click here.

  • Endorced by the Inner Circle of Advocates

    Craig McClellan is a member of the invitation-only group of the top 100 plaintiff trial lawyers in the United States

  • Attorney McClellan earned a Distinguished rating from Martindale-Hubbell for his achievements.

  • Attorney McClellan has been selected to the list of the Best Lawyers in America every year since 1993.

  • Attorney McClellan is listed as one of America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators in Business, Personal Injury, and Product Liability.

  • Attorney Craig McClellan earned one of the top 50 verdicts in California, securing a $15,771,234 verdict for a client seriously injured in a car accident.

  • Attorney McClellan has a 10/10 “Superb” rating, the highest rating an attorney can receive from Avvo.

  • The firm has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, the highest possible rating offered by the organization.

  • The firm earned a Tier 1 ranking in Commercial Litigation in the 2019 list of the Best Law Firms.

  • The firm earned a Tier 1 ranking in Personal Injury in the 2019 list of the Best Law Firms.

  • The firm earned a Tier 1 ranking in Product Liability in the 2019 list of the Best Law Firms.

  • Attorney McClellan has been named the Lawyer of the Year by the Best Lawyers in America in 2012, twice in 2014, and in 2019.

  • Attorney McClellan is a member of the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego, and previously served on its Board of Directors.

  • Attorney Craig McClellan was named as one of the “Best Attorneys” by the Los Angeles Times.

  • Attorney Craig McClellan was named one of the “Best Lawyers” by San Diego Metro.

  • Attorney Craig McClellan was named one of the Top Lawyers in San Diego in Business Litigation by San Diego Magazine.

  • Attorney Craig McClellan has been selected to the list of Super Lawyers every year since 2007.

Trusted Recommendations

See More Reviews
  • We wouldn’t be here, in this moment of life without the kindness and professionalism of you all and how you went to bat for us! Eternally grateful! A.K.

  • Immediately after our interview we knew without question that no matter how steep the mountain, win or lose, we had found the right person—Craig McClellan, Esq.—[…] We felt a profound sense of ... G.P.

  • We will NEVER forget what you did for us Craig. We are FOREVER GRATEFUL. K.V.

  • I just wanted to thank you for your efforts on [Pam’s] behalf, your skills, and your heart. You are not just a lawyer in what you do, you are a master of your profession. And I hope you are passing ... Juror

  • I thank you for your kindness and generosity in giving selflessly without reserve. Additionally, please extend my thanks to your staff for their diligent work and encouragement throughout the trial. A.D.

  • We do not quite know how to verbalize or show how grateful we are to have had the distinct honor to have you represent us at truly the most critical time in our lives. S.C.

  • Having had the high privilege of presiding over a number of cases involving national counsel, I want you to know you’re one of the very best [...]. You and those with you were outstanding ambassadors ...

  • It was a real honor to preside over a case with you as counsel. In my mind you represent all that is good in our profession. Judge J.

  • Your appearance on the nation-wide broadcast of ‘60 Minutes’ was a public service in which all San Diego has reason to take great pride. To integrity—you have added public service and again elevated ... Juror

  • We could not be happier with the McCllelan Law Firm team! My husband and I were referred to Craig McCllelan by one of his peers. We had a very sensitive medical malpractice case that we were hesitant ... S.P.

Get Help Today All Consultations Are Free of Charge
  • Please enter your first name
  • Please enter your last name
  • This isn't a valid phone number
    Please enter your phone number
    You entered an invalid number
  • This isn't a valid email address
    Please enter your email address
  • Please select an option.
  • Please tell us about your case.