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Medical Verdicts


Delivery linked to disability

January 2006 · Vol. 18, No. 1

<court>Suffolk County (Mass) Superior Court</court>

More than a week overdue, a woman was admitted for labor induction at 7 AM. At 12:30 PM the physician ruptured her membranes. By 4:45 PM labor had progressed slowly and the fetal heart rate tracing was intermittently abnormal. The physician placed the mother on her side and administered oxygen.

The next time a physician saw the woman was nearly 3 hours later, but that physician allegedly did not offer cesarean as an option. Another 2 hours later the physician made several attempts at vacuum extraction delivery, and the mother eventually pushed the fetus out on her own. The infant was depressed and had signs of bruising around her head. MRI and CT scans showed cerebral hemorrhage.

Now 9 years old, the child has severe learning disabilities and wears braces. She sometimes uses a walker because she is prone to falling down.

  • The jury awarded the plaintiff $23.8 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). The available information about the cases presented here is sometimes incomplete; thus, pertinent details of a given situation may be unavailable. Moreover, the cases may or may not have merit. Nevertheless, these cases represent the types of clinical situations that typically result in litigation and are meant to illustrate nationwide variation in jury verdicts and awards.

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