Lesbians win $300K compo over double IVF bungle - The Daily Telegraph
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Lesbians win $300K compo over double IVF bungle
February 13, 2009 12:00am
A LESBIAN couple who said having two IVF babies instead of one damaged their relationship have won an appeal against their doctor and been awarded $317,000 in compensation.
In the first Australian case of its kind, the Melbourne parents of the twin girls sued Canberra obstetrician Sydney Robert Armellin for implanting two embryos instead of the requested one.
During the initial proceedings, the ACT Supreme Court heard that following the twins' birth, the mother had lost her capacity to love.
The couple's relationship had also suffered as they became mired in everyday tasks associated with raising two children.
The couple, whose combined income is more than $100,000, sought $398,000 from Dr Armellin to cover the costs of raising one of the girls, including fees for a private Steiner school.
In July last year, Justice Annabelle Bennett rejected the couple's claim and ordered them to pay Dr Armellin's legal costs.
The doctor had not breached his duty of care to the twin girls' birth mother and was therefore not negligent, Justice Bennett said.
But the ACT Court of Appeal has overturned that decision, ABC Television reports.
The three judges of the appeal court awarded the couple, who can't be named for legal reasons, $317,000 in damages and ordered Dr Armellin to pay their legal costs.
The IVF procedure, carried out in Canberra in November 2003, used sperm from a Danish donor.