Birth Injury Lawsuit: $3.5 Million Settlement
2023 Medical Malpractice Trial Report
Suffolk Superior Court, Boston, Massachusetts
By Robert M. Higgins, attorney for the plaintiffs
Newborn suffers severe brain and heart injuries during labor and childbirth
On 10/22/13, the plaintiff arrived at the hospital for induction of labor for her first child. She was placed on a fetal monitor and her baby was doing well.
The following evening while still being induced, the baby’s heart rate began to show worrisome signs of decelerations and decreased variability. The defendant providers decided to attempt to deliver the child via vacuum. They attempted 3 times to deliver the baby by vacuum but were unsuccessful.
Immediately at the end of the attempted vacuum delivery, the baby’s heart rate rose to over 180 BPM with recurrent deep decelerations. These worrisome findings continued and the defendants failed to rush the plaintiff to the operating room.
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Finally, after an hour of clear fetal distress, the baby was delivered vaginally. The baby was born with Apgar scores of 2, 3 and 3 and need immediate resuscitation with intubation and chest compressions to get his heart started.
The child was brought to the NICU where he developed seizures and was diagnosed with severe hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). He was also noted to have suffered hypoxia to his heart.
He was ultimately diagnosed with severe cardiac dysfunction and required a heart transplant at age 2. The child continues to suffer from neurologic issues from his brain injury. He is fed by a G-tube and has significant developmental delays requiring speech, OT and PT therapies right up to the present.
The plaintiff consulted with experts in obstetrics and pediatric neurology. It was their opinion that the child should have been delivered immediately via c-section when the vacuum delivery was unsuccessful. It was their opinion that his lack of oxygen and subsequent brain and heart injuries occurred in the last hour before birth.
The defense was expected to present expert testimony that the defendants provided appropriate care at all times and that the child’s injuries occurred before the last hour before delivery.
After mediation, the case settled for $3,500,000.
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