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Negligence lawsuit dismissed against Mayo Medical Laboratories

A federal lawsuit alleging that Mayo Medical Laboratories falsely concluded an unborn child had Down Syndrome has been dropped after parties on both sides reached an agreement to dismiss it.

The parents and their doctor in Winnepeg, Canada, relied on the the lab's report in electing to terminate the pregnancy in 2007, but an autopsy found the child did not have Down Syndrome, according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Minnesota.

The complaint, which was filed in 2009, alleged that the laboratory contaminated the original specimen of amniotic fluid, resulting in misinterpretation.

Also alleged was that Mayo departed from accepted standards of practice by failing to properly interpret the test, directly resulting in the death of the child. 

Parties on both sides agreed on July 1 that all claims against Mayo Medical Laboratories be dismissed "on the merits" with future action barred on the matter, according to a court document. U.S. District Court Judge John R. Tunheim ordered on July 5 that the case be dismissed.

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The case was filed by Kimberlee Brown, a resident of Manitoba, Canada, who was acting as trustee for the parents, Angela M. Traviss and Michel A. Caron.

The attorney for the plaintiffs, Mark Hallberg, declined to comment on the case. A Mayo Clinic spokesman also declined comment.

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