A couple who sued a hospital for not telling them their unborn child has Down's syndrome has been awarded a $2.9million payout.
Ariel and Deborah Levy, who say they would have had an abortion if they had known the child would be disabled, claimed they needed the money to pay for their daughter Kalanit's lifelong care.
And a jury agreed, deciding on Friday that Oregon's Legacy Health hospital had been negligent in failing to diagnose the condition in a pre-natal scan.
The hospital is considering appealing the verdict, but the Levys' lawyer urged them to 'let this case finally come to an end'
The couple from Portland, who have two other children, said in a lawsuit they would have aborted their daughter Kalanit - who is now four - if they had known she had Down's syndrome.
Although they say they love Kalanit and treat her the same as their other children, the Levys demanded a huge payout from the hospital to pay for the extra medical care she requires.
They accused the hospital of being 'negligent in their performance, analysis and reporting' after misreading Mrs Levy's ultrasound scan.
Their lawyer David Miller said the parents had launched their lawsuit in an effort to care for Kalanit better.
'These are parents who love this little girl very, very much,' he said. 'Their mission since the beginning was to provide for her and that's what this is all about.'
After the jury awarded the couple $2.9million, a spokesman for Legacy said the organisation disputed the decision.
'While Legacy Health has great respect for the judicial process, we are disappointed in today's verdict,' he said.
'The legal team from Legacy Health will be reviewing the record and considering available options.'
But Mr Miller said: 'I would hope that Legacy would embrace this jury verdict and let this case finally come to an end.'
The case could have far-reaching - and questionable - implications for children born with with conditions such as Down's.
There are fewer than 10 'wrongful birth' cases in the U.S. every year as prenatal tests are 99.7 per cent accurate - and few parents want to face a legal challenge if they do fail, the Oregonian reported.
Yet experts believe there could be a boom in the lawsuits as women in their late 30s and 40s are increasingly having babies and relying on genetic screenings to signal problems, the paper added.
Civil engineer Ariel and dental hygienist Deborah, who say they love Kalanit and intend to give her the same opportunities they have given their sons, were stunned when hospital staff told them she appeared to have Down's.
CHORIONIC VILLUS SAMPLING
Tests carried out before a baby is born to determine whether they have any genetic disorders is called chorionic villus sampling, or CVS for short.
It usually takes place between the 10th and 12th week of a pregnancy,.
The test is not given to every expectant mother, but some factors give rise to it.
It is carried out if a woman has abnormal screen results in the first trimester of her pregnancy, or if there is a family history of genetic disorders or chromosome abnormalities.
Women over the age of 35 are also encouraged to have the test, as there is an increased risk of Down syndrome.
It involves taking tissue from the foetus while in the womb and screening this sample for abnormalities.
Deborah Levy, 39, told doctors she had taken a test - a chorionic villus sampling, or CVS for short - before the birth and that the results had showed their child would be normal.
'We were told we had nothing to worry about,' Ariel Levy told jurors.
But days after Kalanit was born, her mother was taking her to the doctor 'to show her off' and he delivered the blow - a blood test confirmed the baby had Down's. 'It was devastating,' Mrs Levy said.
Mr Miller claimed in the case that Dr Thomas Jenkins removed tissue in the womb from Mrs Levy, rather than from the baby, when he carried out the procedure at the clinic.
The suit points the blame at the doctor and lab workers who did not realise they were testing maternal tissue, the Oregonian reported.
It also suggests that two later ultrasounds carried out by Legacy showed traits of the syndrome, yet staff failed to recognise these, and assured Mrs Levy her baby would be born normal and healthy.
Yet the attorneys for the defense claim Jenkins and the staff followed correct procedures. He suggested the problem was that the girl has mosaic Down syndrome.
Whereas most people with the condition have cells containing an extra 21st chromosome, a significant number of Kalanit's cells did not, Jenkins said. Nearly 31 per cent were normal.
Yet Mr Miller countered that obviously 100 per cent of the cells taken in the CVS test were normal - as they had wrongly been taken from the mother.
He added that tests carried out after Kalanit was born show there is less than one or two per cent normal cells.
Reports have previously quoted the lawsuit as demanding as much as $14 million to cover the cost of the young girl's care
The couple has already whipped up a frenzy of hate and abuse for their comments over aborting their beloved daughter. Miller said they have received death threats.
The couple met in preschool, attended the same high school and college and married in 2000. Civil engineer Ariel and dental hygienist Deborah, both 39, are orthodox Jewish, according to Facebook.
Their sons are in third grade and kindergarten. The boys, shown hugging their younger sister tightly in photographs, are bright - one has placed in the 99th percentile on standardised tests.
Due to her age, the couple was vigilant about testing, undergoing the CVS at 13 weeks. It is believed one in 250 women at that age give birth to a child with Down syndrome.
Studies suggest that more than 89 per cent of women choose to abort a fetus with Down syndrome.
After their daughter was born with the syndrome, the Levys expressed their fears over her future, including medical and social issues, and whether she would get the required educational support.
Experts have told them she will probably not be able to live on her own or support herself, the Oregonian reported. It is estimated she will live until her mid-50s.
She is able to speak in two-word sentences which only her parents and a few others understand, according to the Oregonian.