Delay in Delivery Resulting in Baby's Brain Injury: $2.5M Settlement

2018 Medical Malpractice Trial Report

Lawsuit claimed that 2 hour delay in delivery caused severe neurological injury

On 3/9/14 at 40.5 weeks gestation, the plaintiff arrived at the hospital with complaints of contractions. She was seen by the defendant family medicine physician and placed on the fetal heart monitor.

At 2:30 a.m., the family practice defendant noted a 5 minute fetal heart rate deceleration to 90 bpm. Nothing further was done to assess the baby. At 2:52 a.m., the defendant nurse noted a deceleration to 80 bpm for several minutes. Nothing further was done to assess the baby.

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At 4:55 a.m., late decelerations were noted by the defendant nurse. The defendant physician was notified but her plan was to simply allow the plaintiff to labor. At 6:15 a.m., the defendant nurse noted increasing fetal heart rate baseline along with significant decelerations. Labor was allowed to continue with no interventions to assess the baby. At 7:20 a.m., the defendant physician was at the bedside with a fetal heart baseline in the 190’s and repetitive prolonged decelerations. The labor was allowed to continue.

Finally, an obstetrician was consulted and he immediately moved to delivery via vacuum. The minor plaintiff was born severely depressed and was placed in the cooling protocol for an hypoxic ischemic brain injury. At 4 years old, the minor plaintiff had minimal physical injuries but is unable to speak more than 10 words.

The plaintiff consulted with an obstetrical expert witness who was expected to testify that the defendants failed to recognize a multitude of factors on the fetal heart rate tracing that were indicative of a hostile environment for the baby. The tracing required immediate delivery at 6:15 am, and the baby was not delivered until almost 2 hours later. The plaintiff also consulted with a pediatric neurologist who was expected to testify that the two hour delay in delivering the minor plaintiff caused his current neurological injury.

The case settled for $2,500,000 prior to the depositions of the defendants.

Lubin & Meyer  attorneys represented the plaintiff in this lawsuit: Andrew C. Meyer, Jr., and Robert M. Higgins.

Court: Middlesex Superior Court

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