What are the grounds for medical malpractice during the birth of a baby?
Recently, a Chicago jury awarded the family of a brain-damaged child with $101 million due to medical malpractice. The child suffered brain damage when he was deprived of oxygen for approximately six hours while still in the womb. Evidence presented at the trial led the jury to conclude that nurses and staff failed to properly monitor the infant. Our New York, New York medical malpractice lawyers discuss the facts of this massive medical malpractice case and the grounds for malpractice during birth below.
The Duty of Hospital Staff to Monitor Pregnant Women
The plaintiff, Tequila Snow, came into the hospital at 34 weeks pregnant in 2014. She informed the nurses that the baby was not moving normally and she suspected something was wrong. Despite her concerns, the nurses did not call in a doctor or monitor the baby. As a result, the baby’s oxygen levels were allowed to remain dangerously low for at least six hours.
Deprivation of oxygen left the now five-year-old with severe developmental delays. He cannot walk or talk and requires round the clock care. The child’s family claimed that the hospital’s negligent actions that day have led to a permanent loss of quality of life for the child. The money awarded by the jury will allow the plaintiff to care for her child at home and ensure he receives the best quality care. So far, the hospital has stated that it has no intention to appeal.
Malpractice During Childbirth
Childbirth related medical malpractice happens when a doctor, nurse, hospital, or other staff negligently causes injury to the mother or child during birth. Alternatively, wrongful birth cases occur when the parents would have terminated a pregnancy if they had been alerted to birth defects. One of the primary causes of medical malpractice during birth involves the failure of hospital employees to monitor the baby’s oxygen levels, as happened in the Snow case. Parents whose child sustained injuries due to oxygen deprivation may be able to seek damages for the child’s pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, medical expenses, their own mental and emotional pain and suffering, and more.