Articles Posted in Birth Injuries

A recent Maryland medical malpractice verdict underscores the complexities of medical malpractice litigation and the role of damages caps in shaping the outcome of such cases. The case arose out of a devastating birth injury caused by negligence. While the damages awarded in the case are substantial, they largely represent the cost of the care the affected child will need throughout the duration of his life. If your child suffered an injury at birth due to the recklessness of a doctor, it is crucial to speak to a Maryland medical malpractice attorney about what damages you may be able to recover.

The Subject Case

It is alleged that the plaintiffs filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant hospital after their son suffered brain damage and permanent injuries following a premature emergency cesarean section. The hospital defended its actions, claiming that the procedure was necessary to save the lives of both the mother and the baby. The trial lasted for two weeks, and the jury deliberated for four hours before reaching a verdict in favor of the plaintiffs.

It is reported that the jury awarded the plaintiffs damages amounting to approximately $34 million. Due to Maryland’s statutory cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases, the amount will be reduced to $25.2 million. The bulk of the damages awarded to the plaintiffs was for the child’s future medical expenses, which amount to $20 million. In addition, they received compensation for the child’s loss of earnings as well as his past medical expenses. The plaintiffs were awarded $10 million for pain and suffering as well, but this amount will likely be reduced to around $1 million due to the state’s damages cap. Continue Reading ›

Mistakes made during labor and delivery can have devastating consequences, and in many instances, the harm suffered is permanent. While no amount of money can compensate for the loss of the ability to lead a healthy life, parents of children who suffer life-altering birth injuries can often recover significant compensation. This was demonstrated recently in a verdict issued by a Baltimore jury, awarding a family almost thirty-five million dollars for harm suffered by an infant shortly after birth. If your child suffered injuries at birth due to the negligence of their treatment providers, you might be owed damages, and you should consult an assertive Maryland medical malpractice lawyer to determine your rights.

The Infant’s Harm

It is reported that the mother delivered the plaintiff infant and his twin brother on August 19, 2007, which was approximately one month before they were due. The twin brother was born without complications, but the plaintiff infant had difficulty breathing after he was delivered. He was apneic as a result of his breathing issues and initially required ventilation via a bag mask valve. He was then able to breathe on his own and was admitted to an intensive care nursery at 5:00 am. Allegedly, he was healthy at that time.

Allegedly, the plaintiff infant suffered an apneic episode fifteen minutes later, however, and began having difficulty breathing. The hospital staff began to try different methods to improve his breathing but did not contact the on-call doctor until 5:40 am when the plaintiff infant’s condition rapidly worsened. He began to turn blue, and his oxygen levels were dangerously low. He ultimately had to be intubated and suffered brain damage, cerebral palsy, and other medical issues, which were caused by the lack of oxygen. Continue Reading ›

Many parents are apprehensive about the births of their children. While a variety of concerns may cause expectant parents anxiety, they rarely anticipate that they will lose their child due to the incompetence of their treatment providers. Unfortunately, some fetuses suffer harm before birth that is ultimately fatal, and in many cases, such injuries are caused by the recklessness of healthcare professionals. Parents who suffer the loss of their children at birth can often recover substantial damages, as demonstrated in a recent wrongful death verdict issued in a birth injury case in Baltimore. If your child suffered harm at birth due to the carelessness of a medical provider, it is in your best interest to speak to a knowledgeable Maryland birth injury lawyer as soon as possible to avoid waiving your right to seek redress.

The Plaintiff’s Allegations

It is reported that the mother arrived at the defendant hospital in active labor and at full term shortly after midnight on July 19, 2015. Four hours later, she began receiving doses of the hormone oxytocin to help her deliver. The fetus first displayed signs of cardiac distress around 9:00 am when a sensor indicated a heart rate of 160 beats per minute. The defendant directed the staff not to take any action, however.

According to the complaint, the mother began complaining of severe abdominal pain three and a half hours later. She was not taken to the operating room until 2:00 pm, though, at which time the defendant obstetrician-gynecologist performed an emergency cesarean section. Tragically, the baby was born with no detectable heart rate and resuscitation attempts were ineffective. In February 2018, the parents filed a wrongful death case against the hospital and the obstetrician-gynecologist. Continue Reading ›

Parents anticipating the birth of their children typically do not expect problems to arise during their delivery. Tragically, however, some infants die shortly after they are born due to errors made by medical professionals. While parents who lose their children due to birth injuries have the right to seek compensation for their losses, when the paternity of a deceased child is not clear, it may impact the father’s right to pursue claims against negligent healthcare providers. This was demonstrated in a recent Maryland ruling, in which the court affirmed the dismissal of the putative father’s claims. If your child sustained an injury at birth, it is prudent to speak to a Maryland birth injury attorney about your rights as soon as possible.

The History of the Case

It is reported that the mother, how was expecting twins, was treated by the defendant obstetricians throughout her pregnancy. The twins were delivered by the defendants, and sadly, one twin died shortly thereafter. The paternity of the twins was disputed, and the plaintiff filed an action to establish paternity. A DNA test revealed him to be the father, but the court did not issue an order to that effect.

Allegedly, the mother explored the option of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit and entered into a stipulation with the defendant in which the defendant agreed to toll the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim. The mother later filed claims against the defendant. The plaintiff moved to intervene, but the mother objected to the motion on the grounds that it was untimely. His motion was denied, and he appealed. Continue Reading ›

Frequently, there are multiple healthcare providers involved with the care of expectant mothers. For example, they may be treated by doctors, nurses, and in hospital settings. As such, if a child suffers a birth injury due to negligent prenatal care, the infant’s parents may be able to pursue malpractice claims against multiple entities. As shown in a recent Maryland case, though, plaintiffs must prove that each practitioner violated the applicable standard of care, and if they do not, some or all of their claims may be dismissed. If your child sustained an injury at birth because of incompetent medical care, it is wise to meet with a trusted Maryland birth injury lawyer to discuss your possible claims.

The Mother’s Care and Subsequent Claims

It is reported that the plaintiff mother was pregnant with the plaintiff infant and was treated by the defendant doctor throughout her pregnancy. She visited the defendant doctor when she was 37 weeks pregnant, which was considered full term, and reported reduced fetal movement. Her blood pressure was elevated, and a urinalysis revealed protein in her urine. She was then sent to the defendant hospital for further evaluation. After she was admitted, the defendant nurse took her blood pressure four times and noted it was increasing, and additional testing indicated she had protein in her urine.

Allegedly, the plaintiff mother was discharged that day. Four days later, she again visited the defendant doctor due to reduced fetal movement. Her blood pressure was elevated, and there was protein in her urine. As such, the defendant doctor proceeded with an emergency Caesarean section. The plaintiff infant was diagnosed with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, which was caused by insufficient oxygen during birth. The plaintiffs then filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendants, asserting their negligence caused the plaintiff infant to suffer birth injuries. The defendants moved for summary judgment, arguing the plaintiff failed to establish they breached the applicable standard of care. The court granted the motion as to the defendant hospital, and defendant nurse and the plaintiffs appealed. Continue Reading ›

Doctors tending to expectant mothers have a duty to advise them of treatment risks and alternatives. If they do not, and a mother makes an uninformed decision during delivery, it can result in a tragic birth injury that causes permanent impairment. If a mother is adequately advised of the potential harm a course of care poses but chooses to proceed with that plan regardless, though, the mother may be denied damages. This was demonstrated in a recent Maryland ruling in which an appellate court reversed a jury’s award in a birth injury case, which was the largest medical malpractice award in the United States to date. If your child sustained harm at birth, it is advisable to meet with an experienced Maryland birth injury attorney about your rights.

The Plaintiff’s Care

It is reported that the plaintiff mother, who was 16-years-old and 25 weeks pregnant, presented to the defendant hospital with severe eclampsia and other complications. She met with a team of doctors who advised her of treatment options and their potential risks. Specifically, they told her she could terminate her pregnancy, undergo cesarean delivery, or an induction for a vaginal delivery. She advised the doctors that she did not want to undergo a cesarean delivery to save the baby, even if there were signs of distress, but was otherwise unsure of how to proceed. She ultimately chose to undergo induction.

In Maryland medical malpractice cases, the plaintiff must show that the defendant care provider deviated from the applicable standard of care. Generally, this requires the introduction of an expert opinion. It is not uncommon for both parties in a medical malpractice case to attempt to introduce evidence to impair the credibility of the other side, but not all character evidence is relevant or admissible. Recently, the United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, discussed whether information regarding a defendant’s reputation or an expert’s potential bias should be admitted into evidence in a birth injury case. If your child suffered harm during birth, it is advisable to speak with a seasoned Maryland birth injury attorney regarding what recourse may be available for your harm.

Factual Background

Reportedly, the plaintiff mother was treated by the defendant ob-gyn during her pregnancy. During the course of her treatment, it was noted the plaintiff infant measured large and a C-section was scheduled in case one became necessary. However, the plaintiff mother wished to proceed with a natural delivery. During the infant’s birth, his shoulders were caught above the plaintiff mother’s pubic bone. An advanced procedure and traction were then used to deliver the infant. Following his birth, the nfant was diagnosed with Erb’s palsy, a condition that causes paralysis due to a nerve injury. The mother subsequently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the defendant on her own behalf and on behalf of her child. A trial was held, after which a jury found in favor of the defendant. The plaintiffs appealed on several grounds.

Relevance of Reputation Evidence

First, plaintiffs argued that the trial court erred in excluding evidence of the defendant’s reputation that was garnered from internet websites. On appeal, the court found that the evidence was properly excluded as irrelevant. The court stated that evidence is relevant if it tends to make a material fact more or less likely than it would be absent the evidence. The court noted, despite the issues of hearsay and the qualifications of the witnesses making the statements on the internet, evidence regarding the defendant’s general reputation did not speak to the issue of whether the defendant deviated from the standard of care in delivering the infant. Continue Reading ›

There is nothing more devastating than realizing your newborn has suffered a preventable birth injury. Aside from the stress of dealing with such an injury, you probably have a lot of questions. If your child has sustained a serious birth injury because of a medical professional’s neglect or mistake, you might be able to obtain compensation. Birth injury cases are among the most complex areas of medical malpractice law, but you can rest assured that our hard-working Baltimore birth injury lawyers know how to effectively advocate for your rights.

Recently, a Baltimore jury ruled in favor of the plaintiff in a medical malpractice case in which the defendant was accused of causing a severe birth injury in 2014. The lawsuit arose from allegations that medical professionals provided a 16-year-old mother with inaccurate dire predictions about the possible outcome of the birth after she began experiencing preeclampsia. Facing that prognosis, which the mother’s lawyers say was incorrect; the teen underwent an unmonitored vaginal delivery when she should have instead had a C-section. This led to the newborn daughter suffering long lasting brain injuries from a lack of oxygen. In fact, the baby was born with a hypoxic brain injury, which caused cerebral palsy. She cannot walk, must rely on a feeding tube, and requires round-the-clock care.

Birth injuries can happen for a variety of reasons, but when these injuries are caused by medical negligence or careless errors made by a medical professional, you have the legal right to hold that medical professional accountable through a medical malpractice claim. Medical malpractice happens when a medical professional injures a patient by failing to act in accordance with the standard of care. The standard of care denotes the level of care that a reasonably competent doctor would have used in the same situation. You should be aware that the standard of care differs in each situation based on a number of factors including the patient’s medical history, age, condition being treated and more.

Birth injuries can have lifelong consequences for a child. If you believe that your child has suffered a birth injury and you want to speak to a reputable Baltimore birth injury attorney, please contact the Arfaa Law Group. We take great pride in providing nuanced and personalized legal representation to each and every client, and you will be no exception.

The Study

While the birth of a child is meant to be an extremely joyous day in a parent’s life, it can quickly become a tragedy if something goes wrong. In such instances, doctors, lawyers and patients tend to focus on what happened during the labor and delivery that led to a negative outcome. However, a new study suggests that when you give birth may also matter. The report found that when compared to a weekday delivery during the daytime, the risk of delivery complications at nighttime were 21 percent higher; on weekends complications were 9 percent higher and on holidays 29 percent higher. In addition, the study found that education levels affect the rate of complications. For instance, teaching hospitals experienced a 28 percent increase in risk of complications in July when students first begin their training. By the following June, the was no statistical difference in risk. This implies that it takes students almost a year to get up to speed. Doctors and hospitals should take these insights seriously and create procedures and protocol around the findings.

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Having a baby is supposed to be one of life’s most joyous moments, but it can quickly become devastating if anything goes wrong. If you or someone close to you has suffered a fertility issue that you believe was caused by a doctor’s negligence, you need to reach out to a skilled Baltimore birth injury attorney who can help.

Recently, a couple in their 30s was having difficulty conceiving a child. They consulted an obstetrician and infertility doctor. The couple and the doctor agreed to use a gestational carrier. The couple picked a surrogate and sent the candidate to the fertility doctor for medical screening. The doctor informed the couple that everything was clear and did not indicate that the surrogate had any kind of condition in her medical history that would interfere with the pregnancy.

The surrogate gave birth to the couple’s child 25 weeks after developing preeclampsia during the pregnancy. The newborn child developed sepsis and died just three weeks after birth. The couple filed a malpractice claim against the fertility doctor, stating that the doctor failed to scrutinize the surrogate’s medical records prior to clearing her.

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