BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — A Montana woman who is suing her medical providers for failing to diagnose her unborn daughter's cystic fibrosis testified that she did not read all the information a nurse gave her about the disease.
"I had already made my decisions" about wanting the chorionic villus sampling test, Kerrie Evans said during cross examination on Thursday. "I didn't see the need to go back and re-read the information she gave me."
Evans' lawsuit is seeking $14.5 million in damages from nurse Peggy Scanson, Park Clinic in Livingston, Dr. Peter Williams and Bozeman OB/GYN. Evans testified Wednesday that if she had known her daughter had the disease she would have had an abortion.
Evans has testified that she told Scanson she wanted her unborn child tested for Down syndrome and cystic fibrosis, an inherited disease in which cells that produce mucus instead produce thick and sticky fluid that damages the lungs and digestive system. While each case is different, many patients now live to be adults with proper treatment and care.
Scanson's attorney said Scanson will testify that Evans expressed concern only about Down syndrome during her initial exam in October 2009.
Under cross examination Thursday, Evans acknowledged she didn't read the brochure she received about cystic fibrosis carrier testing, which also recommended genetic counseling, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported (http://bit.ly/23Nvom5).
Attorneys for the medical providers said parental blood screening is needed to determine which of around 1,700 mutations of cystic fibrosis to test for. If both parents are carriers of the gene, they have a 25 percent chance of having a child with some form of the disease.
Evans said she did not receive genetic counseling before her CVS test because she couldn't get an appointment.
Evans' CVS screening tested for Down syndrome and two other trisomy syndromes that cause intellectual disabilities. It was negative for all three.
Evans, 44, testified she worries about her daughter all the time and the disease has taken an emotional toll on her.
Park Clinic attorney John Scully elicited testimony in which Evans said she had never had to take her daughter out of the area for treatment and that her daughter is covered through health insurance Evans has as a Freedom of Information Act officer for Yellowstone National Park.
Scully asked Evans if she was happy her child was born.
"I'm glad," Evans said. But "I'm not the one that has to suffer. I'm not the one who has to live with the disease."
District Judge Mike Salvagni has scheduled up to three weeks for the trial.
Information from: Bozeman Daily Chronicle, http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com