France: Clinic to pay €2 million for switching babies

ANKARA - Two French women who were accidentally switched at birth and given to the wrong mothers have been awarded nearly €2 million in compensation along with their families.

A French court on Tuesday ordered a clinic in Cannes, southern France, to pay compensation to Manon Serraono and Mathilde, whose surname was not disclosed, after they were mistakenly switched by a nurse while they were in their incubators after birth in the private clinic in 1994.

The Alpes-Maritimes district court in the city of Cannes awarded compensation of €1.8 million ($2 million) to be paid to the two families - €400,000 each for Mathilde and Manon, €300,000 for each of the three remaining parents and €60,000 euros for each sibling.

The case came after the babies were diagnosed with jaundice and placed in the same incubators for four days for treatment with no identification bracelets, shortly after their birth in July, 1994.

Manon's mother Sophie Serraono - then-aged 19 - found her newborn baby had more hair than at birth after she was returned, but medical staff claimed it was a secondary effect of exposure under the lamps of the incubator.

Manon's father later ordered a paternity test to be carried out on the grounds the child did not physically resemble her parents, which revealed that he was not her biological parent.

Sophie Serrano learned later that she was not Manon's mother.

Manon and Mathilde met their biological families when they were 10-years-old but decided to remain with the parents with whom they lived.

The two families had initially asked for €12 million in damages.

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