Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ohio Medical Malpractice - $14,500,000 Verdict - Birth Injury to a Child

Ohio Medical Malpractice - $14,500,000 Verdict - Birth Injury to a Child

An interesting case out of Cleveland, Ohio recently was decided with a verdict of $14,500,000. The case involved an Ohio medical malpractice claim based on negligent treatment by an OB-GYN and a birth injury to the child because preterm labor was not properly managed. The child was born via C-section and was severely asphyxiated at birth and required resuscitation. The child was admitted to the hospital and remained there for 113 days. The child suffered permanent brain damage, cerebral palsy and significant neurological deficits, resulting in developmental delays.

Prior to the actual birth, the child’s mother presented to the hospital at 21 weeks gestation. She was in preterm labor. The child’s mother returned to the hospital on two additional occasions and was admitted for treatment of preterm labor. Her condition was managed with anti-labor medications, bed rest and fetal surveillance.

The child’s mother was discharged for the third time, and six days later, her membrane ruptured and she returned to the hospital in active labor. Initially, the electronic fetal monitoring showed no fetal distress. Within hours, the electronic fetal monitoring reportedly showed repetitive variable decelerations that became deeper and more frequent. Imminent distress was eventually noted. After noting fetal distress and arrest of labor, the OB-GYN performed an emergency C-section.

Plaintiff proved that defendants were negligent in failing to keep the mother hospitalized to properly manage her pregnancy with anti-labor medications and fetal monitoring during her earlier admissions, which she maintained would have prolonged the pregnancy and that the defendants were negligent and breached the accepted standards of obstetric care in failing to deliver the child in a timely manner once delivery became imminent.

Damages were awarded for past and future expenses, including the cost for lifelong living assistance, and compensatory and punitive damages.