Birth Injury Case Results
Six Million ($6,000,000) judgment for missed diagnosis of fetal distress. The plaintiffs filed suit against a hospital and a registered nurse for the death of their unborn fetus. The mother was seen in the hospital emergency room in questionable labor. The nurse placed her on a fetal heart monitor but failed to recognize the fetus' non-reassuring heart tracings which indicated the fetus was experiencing stress. The nurse contacted the physician to report her findings, and the mother was discharged home with a diagnosis of false labor approximately one hour and twenty minutes after her arrival to the ER. When the mother returned to the hospital a little over two days later, the fetus was dead. The verdict awarded on behalf of the plaintiffs in this case was over 6 million dollars.
Birth trauma leads to cerebral palsy. A pregnant woman experienced a placental abruption at 37 5/7 weeks gestation that was not recognized in a timely fashion, resulting in a loss of blood supply to her fetus leading to permanent brain damage and severe cerebral palsy. Due to the onset of excruciating pain, the patient was taken to the hospital as instructed by the obstetrician on-call. The nurse in the triage area did not recognize or inform the on-call physician of decelerations in the fetal heart rate. After the patient was admitted for labor and delivery, a chief resident was called to the bedside on more than one occasion to evaluate the patient and fetus. The resident failed to determine the cause of the excruciating pain, failed to evaluate the fetal monitor tracings for an appropriate length of time, failed to ensure the on-call physician had been notified, failed to call a cesarean section, and failed to call for help. Despite obvious increasing signs of fetal distress and the fact that there were at least two doctors in the hospital that could have delivered the baby by cesarean section, the patient and her fetus were allowed to suffer for an hour and fifty-two minutes before the on-call physician came in and delivered the baby. Placental abruption was noted at the time of the cesarean section. Plaintiffs, the parents of the minor child, filed suit against three obstetricians, two of the obstetricians' corporations, the hospital in which the labor and delivery took place, a resident physician, and the medical facility in which the resident was receiving training. The case was mediated and settled for an undisclosed amount.
Missed diagnosis of prenatal condition. Plaintiffs filed suit individually and on behalf of their minor twin children against a hospital and four physicians for failure to diagnose, monitor and treat a condition experienced by the twins before their birth, known as twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. The mother was seen by her obstetrician and by others at the hospital on more than one occasion, and ultrasounds were performed on more than one occasion, but the physicians failed to recognize and treat the problem. The condition was later recognized and intervention attempted; however it was too late and the babies were born prematurely and in a compromised physical condition. One of the twins suffered multiple severe permanent injuries including cerebral palsy, brain hemorrhages, and visual deficits. The case was settled for an undisclosed amount.
Baby dies waiting for cesarean section. A young first-time mother was admitted to the hospital at 41 weeks gestation for induction of labor. Several hours into the admission, the fetal monitor began showing fetal distress. When fully dilated, the mother pushed for approximately 1 ½ hours The physician entered the room and allowed the mother to continue pushing for another 30 minutes. The physician testified he did not look back at the fetal monitor tracings and that the nurse caring for the patient did not inform him of the distress. After attempting vacuum extraction for another 30 minutes, the physician called for a cesarean section which he considered urgent. The physician testified that the standard of care required him to be making an incision to deliver the baby within 30 minutes. The physician left the patient’s room and the on-call surgery team was informed, but the urgency of the situation was not communicated to the team. The baby continued to deteriorate showing signs of impending death. During that time, the bedside nurses waited in the labor and delivery room for the OR staff to call for the patient, while the OR staff waited downstairs for the patient to arrive. The baby was delivered stillborn 104 minutes after the cesarean section was called. The parents filed suit against the physician and the hospital. The case was mediated and settled for an undisclosed amount.
Birth trauma leads to wrongful death. Plaintiff filed suit against her obstetrician and the obstetrician's corporation for the wrongful death of her infant. Plaintiff was admitted for elective labor induction. During labor, the fetal heart monitor tracings began to reveal signs of fetal distress. Despite hours of non-reassuring fetal heart tracings, increasing signs of neurological injury to the fetus, and no progress in labor, it took the physician approximately fifteen hours to call for a cesarean section. During the procedure, plaintiff was found to have a uterine rupture. The infant suffered from brain injury due to asphyxia. Life support was withdrawn five days after birth, and the infant did not survive. The case was mediated at the defendant doctor's request and settled for an undisclosed amount.
The factual and legal circumstances of each client's case will affect the results obtained.