Covering physician encounters dystocia
<court>Essex County (NJ) Superior Court</court>
An Ob/Gyn, filling in for a vacationing obstetrician, induced labor in a woman at 36 weeks’ gestation with gestational diabetes and ruptured membranes.
Despite signs of fetal distress, the defendant opted for a forceps delivery. The child suffered Erb’s palsy, which required 3 surgeries by the time of trial.
In suing, the plaintiff argued that the defendant did not review the woman’s medical records. Had he done so, he would have learned that a prior sonogram showed a disproportionally large torso (stemming from the mother’s gestational diabetes), which would have alerted him that a cesarean delivery might be necessary.
- The jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff in the amount of $2.3 million.
The cases in this column are selected by the editors of OBG Management from Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts, with permission of the editor, Lewis Laska, of Nashville, Tenn (www.verdictslaska.com). While there are instances when the available information is incomplete, these cases represent the types of clinical situations that typically result in litigation.