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Court sides with clinic in birth-control suit

A state appeals court says a health-care clinic does not have to pay the cost to raise the child of Austin Mernick and Shelby Nell after the facility mistakenly gave the woman pre-natal vitamins instead of birth-control pills.

Omernick and Nell said the West Bend Clinic was solely responsible for the mistake and therefore should pay all of the child's living costs until age 18, as well as pain and suffering Nell had during pregnancy.

The Second District Appellate Court in Waukesha said today that the couple can seek the pain-and-suffering damages. But the judges said it was too easy to commit fraud by claiming that the clinic allowed the child to be born.

Nell was pregnant before she realized that she was given pre-natal vitamins instead of birth control pills. She gave birth to a healthy boy in 2009, and the couple sued the clinic the following year.