Articles Tagged with OBGYN

For a parent, one of the greatest fears is that something bad will happen to their child. Mothers take special care when pregnant to ensure that their child is born healthy and will develop correctly. However, one thing that mothers cannot avoid is the risk of complications during the birthing process.

Last month, a Pennsylvania jury awarded $4 million when it found an obstetrician’s medical negligence caused permanent injuries to a child. The child, now four years old, suffers cerebral palsy and neurological injuries as a result of the obstetrician’s negligent failure to perform a cesarean section after the mother’s labor stalled for nearly eight hours. An expert witness testified that the doctor should have recognized that when the child’s labor stopped progressing, a cesarean delivery was safer. Instead, the doctor proceeded with a vaginal delivery and used forceps to assist in the delivery. During the delivery, the baby’s shoulder became stuck in her mother’s pelvis, causing a crucial three-and-a-half minute delay when the baby was deprived of oxygen. As a result, the baby had to be resuscitated by the neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital and later underwent a procedure to cool her brain to minimize damage from the lack of oxygen. The verdict came after a four-day trial and is among the largest medical malpractice awards in the county’s history.

Maryland obstetricians are required to use reasonable care during the delivery of a child and when they fail to do so are responsible for the injuries their medical malpractice causes. Any parent whose child has suffered from birth injuries may be able to take legal action such as this woman did in the hopes of being compensated for the lifetime of medical bills that their child will incur.

The mother to a son born with cerebral palsy will eventually receive the full judgment of $10 million awarded to her by a Florida jury for medical malpractice, but she’ll have to wait for half of it. In 2003, while six months pregnant, the woman was to be transported after one hospital determined it didn’t have the right equipment to handle a premature baby and another said it lacked specialists for extremely premature births. Both of those hospitals, and doctors from each, were originally involved, but settled for a total of $1.4 million. Ultimately, however, the woman gave birth on the way to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando while in an ambulance. The child survived but suffered severe brain damage as a result of a lack of oxygen. In a medical negligence case, a jury found the Florida ambulance provider, EVAC, negligent for both the care they provided and for accepting the initial transport order.

After the $10 million judgment was handed down in the malpractice case, EVAC asked a judge to throw out the verdict or, alternatively, reduce the judgment amount. EVAC argued they could not refuse an order given by a doctor in the emergency room. A settlement was ultimately reached whereby EVAC will pay $5 million immediately (their insurance cap) and then sue its insurance company for bad faith and have it pay the rest.

Medical mistakes are not always the result of physician negligence. As an experienced Baltimore, Maryland medical malpractice lawyer, I have handled a number of cases involving medical errors attributable to other sources. To see some of the cases I have handled, click here.

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