On May 30, 2013, a Maryland medical malpractice jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiffs in the amount of $15.6 million after three weeks of trial and almost three hours of jury deliberations for the brain damage resulting in severe learning disabilities and developmental delays suffered by a now 11-year-old girl during her birth. The medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that a nurse midwife at a local hospital failed to keep track of the fetal monitor during labor that indicated the baby was in distress and that the baby should have been promptly delivered by emergency Cesarean section instead of waiting for vaginal delivery.
The plaintiffs’ evidence at trial established that the girl’s full-term mother went into labor on November 21, 2001. At approximately 3:45 p.m. that afternoon, the fetal heart monitor indicated that the fetus was in distress and as labor continued, the fetal monitor showed a severe deceleration of the fetus’ heart rate at 6:36 p.m. and continued decelerations that were slow to return to baseline, which indicate fetal distress and should have resulted in an emergency Cesarean section delivery. Instead, the baby was born by vaginal delivery at 12:29 a.m. on November 22, 2001. The baby had convulsions and seizures on the second day of her life and a CT scan confirmed her brain injuries.
The medical malpractice lawsuit was filed on March 22, 2012 against the hospital where two doctors and the nurse midwife participated in the baby’s delivery. The medical malpractice jury found that the nurse midwife’s medical negligence was the cause of the girl’s birth injuries despite the defendant’s argument that the injuries were not due to medical negligence but rather from a prenatal neurogenetic disorder.
The medical malpractice jury awarded the plaintiffs $14.5 million for future medical expenses, $900,000 for future lost wages, and $250,000 for the parents’ non-economic damages (mental anguish, etc.). A spokesperson for the hospital stated after the verdict, “We were notified yesterday [Thursday] of this verdict and currently we are exploring our options.”
The birth of a baby is supposed to be a happy occasion for the parents who look forward to enjoying a wonderful life with a healthy, happy baby. When the medical negligence of the medical professionals involved with the labor and delivery results in severe, permanent injuries to the baby (and/or the birth mother) that change forever the family dynamics and devastates the dreams and aspirations of the parents, the negligent medical providers should be held fully accountable for the deficient medical care for which they, themselves, were solely responsible.
If you or your child were harmed due to medical malpractice in Maryland or in another U.S. state, you should promptly seek the advice of a Maryland medical malpractice attorney or a medical malpractice attorney in your state to investigate your possible medical malpractice claim for you and to protect your rights.
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