On June 27, 2013, the Ohio Court of Claims approved a $5.25 million settlement between an Ohio state hospital and the family of a newborn who suffered a profound brain injury due to alleged obstetrical medical malpractice. The child’s parents had filed a medical malpractice claim against the Ohio hospital, alleging that the now 7-year-old child suffered a severe neurological injury during his birth on April 29, 2006.
The medical malpractice claim alleged that the obstetrician handling the mother’s labor and delivery was medically negligent in managing the labor and delivery and that he negligently delayed in determining that a cesarean section delivery was necessary. It was alleged that the obstetrician mismanaged the administration of the drug Pitocin, which increases both the frequency and strength of contractions.
On July 18, 2011, the Ohio Court of Claims conducted a non-jury trial on the issue of whether the medical malpractice defendant was liable for the plaintiff’s alleged injury. On May 11, 2012, the Ohio Court of Claims issued its written decision in which it determined that the medical malpractice defendant was liable for the medical malpractice plaintiff’s injuries and damages.
The Ohio Court of Claims determined that the obstetrician failed to take appropriate action after the fetal heart rate tracings at 3:00 a.m. on April 29, 2006 showed a prolonged deceleration which should have resulted in the stopping of the administration of Pitocin and the ordering of an emergency cesarean section no later than 4:10 a.m. on April 29, 2006 (the emergency cesarean section was not performed until 5:10 a.m.). The plaintiff’s medical malpractice experts testified that had the cesarean section been performed by 4:40 a.m., at the latest, the baby would not have sustained the brain injury, which the Ohio Court of Claims found to be convincing. Source
The trial before the Ohio Court of Claims on the issue of the medical malpractice plaintiff’s damages was originally scheduled for May 6 to May 8, 2013. However, on February 25, 2013, the parties notified the Ohio Court of Claims that they had reached a settlement in the case but that they needed sixty to ninety days to file the settlement agreement with the Court. The formal Settlement Agreement was filed with the Court on June 25, 2013, which was approved by the Ohio Court of Claims on June 27, 2013.
The now 76-year-old obstetrician is retired from practice. Following the approval of the settlement, a spokesperson for the medical malpractice defendant stated, “We worked closely with the family to reach what we feel is a fair and just resolution to the case.”
The $5.25 million settlement is the second largest involving the same medical malpractice hospital – the largest was in 2006 in the amount of $7.3 million for claims of medical negligence involving a patient who was recovering from Guillain-Barre syndrome when her respiratory distress was mistreated and resulted in severe permanent brain damage. The same hospital has settled 11 medical malpractice cases since 1996 that have resulted in payments in excess of $1 million, for a total of $25.66 million.
If you or a loved one have been injured due to medical malpractice in Ohio or in another U.S. state, you should promptly consult with an Ohio medical malpractice attorney (or a medical malpractice attorney in your state) who may agree to investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and file a medical malpractice lawsuit on your behalf, if appropriate.
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