Child’s developmental delays following asphyxia at birth bring $.9M settlement

2005 Medical Malpractice Settlement Report

On November 17, 1995, at 41 weeks gestation, the plaintiff’s mother was seen at Quincy Hospital at 1:30 p.m. for an ultrasound BPP and non-stress test. The BPP was reported to be within acceptable limits, although mother was admitted to the labor and delivery area because of a non-reactive non-stress test. The fetal heart rate baseline was in the 160’s. At 3:40 p.m., the labor nurse noted that a labor plan was discussed with the midwife and the obstetrician (Defendant #1) for a vaginal delivery (VBAC).

Defendant #1 noted the fetal heart rate had dropped to the 70’s for three minutes with a contraction. He noted that the cervix was thick and one cm. dilated indicating that delivery was not imminent. He noted the plan to place Prostin gel and induce labor in the morning.

At 5:00 p.m., the labor nurse noted mild irregular contractions in response to the gel placed to soften the cervix. Defendant #1 was in to assess mother and to note the intermittent late decelerations. Defendant #1 transferred care to Defendant #2 at 6:00 p.m.

Defendant #2 was in-house and had reviewed the fetal heart tracings and recommended that mother be "watched closely". By 8:30 p.m. there was a prolonged deceleration to 70-90’s for 10 minutes. It was not until one hour later, at 9:27 p.m., that Cesarean section delivery took place.

Today, at 9 years of age, the minor plaintiff still suffers from neurological and physical deficits. She continues to receive special education that includes physical, occupational, and speech therapies.

The plaintiffs claimed Defendant #1 failed to intervene in this pregnancy notable for signs of fetal distress. Defendant #1 claimed he complied in all respects with the standard of care, and the fetus was never in any situation that warranted a cesarean section delivery.

The plaintiffs claimed that Defendant #2 also failed to expedite the delivery of the baby, given the non-reassuring signs. The plaintiffs further claimed that once a decision was made to perform a cesarean section delivery, the delivery was not completed fast enough. Defendant #2 claimed there was no justifiable basis for proceeding to a cesarean section delivery earlier than he did, and that he complied with the standard of care at all times.

The extent of the minor plaintiff’s injuries was also disputed.

Defendant #2 settled the case prior to trial for $900,000. The case remains pending against Defendant #1.

Lubin & Meyer's birth injury lawyers represented the plaintiff in this lawsuit.

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