Scott and Donnita Bassinger want the court to know that they're not filing this lawsuit because they don't love their son. It's more because he's just so damn expensive.
They want Dr. Stephen Schepergerdes and the Oregon Medical Group to pay $650,000 to raise their kid. After all, it was he who performed a vasectomy on Scott and then, they say, failed to note that his tubes were a bit tricky to snip, and that he might not be shooting the blanks the couple paid for.
The couple found out that Scott was still fertile after Donnita got pregnant.
The story was reported by the Eugene Register-Guard on Thursday (just about the time most of us here were punching the clock and heading home for the holidays. They were great, thanks for asking.)
It seems that Bassinger is, according to her LinkedIn profile, a part-time feature writer for MOM magazine, where she goes by "Travel Mom."
The couple is basing their $650k figure on: $35,000 to cover the costs of Donnita's Cesarean delivery, $500,000 to raise him until he's 18 years old, and $140,000 to send him to college.
The Register-Guard quotes University of Oregon Law School professors Dominick Vetri and Caroline Forrell, who point out some precedent for such cases, saying, more or less, that the couple's hopes of getting the doc to pay for this living, breathing mistake are slim.
"Most courts have turned that down because it puts the court in the position of deciding whether it would have been better to not be born at all. Most courts are reluctant to say that, because life is the most valuable thing that a person can have under the law."
WebMD says that a vasectomy is 99.85 percent effective. That's about as high as one can get in modern birth control, but still, it's not a sure thing.
Besides that, Donnita's job as a paid writer for a magazine centered on child-raising, and no doubt utilizing her expertise as a mother, makes her claims of being a woman who was gravely damaged by having a child a bit harder to swallow.
But by all means, this is America. When in doubt, sue first, ask questions later.