Woman Awarded Compensation After Being Impregnated by Doctor

Woman Receives Compensation After Being Impregnated by Doctor

(RepublicanPress.org) – The Hippocratic Oath demands it and patients expect doctors to carry out their duties while adhering to the highest ethical standards. A Vermont jury recently ordered a doctor to pay millions of dollars in compensation to a woman after impregnating her with his own sperm nearly 45 years ago.

On Wednesday, March 30, a federal jury sided with plaintiff Cheryl Rousseau and awarded her $5.25 million. Jurors determined the previous day that Rousseau’s physician, Dr. John Coates III, impregnated her using his sperm during a 1977 artificial insemination procedure.

Court records indicated the jury awarded Rousseau $250,000 to compensate her for actual damages and other incurred losses. Additionally, the panel ordered Dr. Coates to pay $5 million in punitive or exemplary damages. Juries award those damages to punish a defendant and serve as an example to others to refrain from inflicting similar harm.

Cheryl Rousseau and her husband, Peter, believed a medical student provided the sperm for the procedure. The couple recently learned the truth about the donation after their daughter took a DNA test.

The Rousseau family’s lawyer, Celeste Laramie, told reporters in an email that the jury’s verdict “sent a message to any physicians [considering] lying to their patients” about donors. “Such behavior [has] serious consequences,” she added.

Coates faces a similar lawsuit in Colorado. The plaintiff, in that case, also alleges Coates told her a medical student was the donor in her 1978 procedure. However, subsequent DNA testing showed Coates was the father.

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