Australia Woman Wins Botched Abortion Case, $ For Emotional Trauma

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 1, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Australia Woman Wins Botched Abortion Case, $ For Emotional Trauma Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 1, 2006

Melbourne, Australia ( — An Australia woman has been awarded damages for physical and emotional trauma stemming from a botched abortion. In what is considered a landmark ruling in the island nation, a woman was awarded over $100,000 to raise her son.

A Melbourne County Court judge awarded the woman the judgment after she filed a lawsuit in 1997 against the abortion practitioner who failed to do a successful abortion.

The woman’s son is now seven years-old.

Brad Cunningham, the woman’s attorney, said she loves her son and does not regret his birth. He said she was suffering from anxiety and depression at the time she decided to have an abortion.

Cunning ham said the woman is now a mother of three but didn’t think she could handle raising a child at the time. She was 16 at the time of the abortion.

"My client feels vindicated. She felt she wasn’t believed about what had happened when it first happened," Cunningham said.

According to The Advertister newspaper, Judge Susan Cohen said abortion practitioner Michael Kloss failed in his "duty of care" when he performed the failed abortion. Cohen chided Kloss for failing to follow the woman’s condition after her abortion and noted he stuck her medical file in a junk drawer in his office.

"If, as I consider likely here, Dr. Kloss did not realize at the time that the procedure had probably or even possibly failed, I am satisfied that his failure to do so in the circumstances was a breach of the reasonable standard to be expected of him," Judge Cohen said, according to a Herald News story.

The abortion was done at the Royal Women’s Hospital in late 1997, the newspaper reported. It was named as a defendant in the case but was not found negligent in the botched abortion.

Kloss claimed he told the woman the abortion may have failed and arranged for a followup visit, but Cohen didn’t buy the explanation.

"I suspect that his insistence so many years later that he did form that view at the time (that the abortion had failed) is because he cannot with hindsight believe that he would have failed to recognize the signs," she said.

The woman had an ultrasound performed by a GP instead of returning to Kloss and she gave birth to her son in 1998.