The stakes in a claim alleging birth injuries caused by a delayed caesarean section are substantial, as today’s story illustrates.
After 3 weeks of deliberations, a jury recently awarded $55 million dollars to a mother who brought a medical malpractice suit against her hospital. The woman alleged that doctors negligently delayed in giving her an emergency caesarean section, which she believes caused her child to be born with developmental disorders. According to the woman’s attorney, although hospital doctors did order an emergency C-section, they waited 2 hours to perform it. In the meantime, the woman claims she was in the second stage of labor, experiencing overwhelming contractions, and pushing involuntarily.
The hospital issued a statement the day after the judgment, denying that its staff or doctors had breached the applicable standard of care, and announcing its intention to appeal the judgment. However, many professionals agree that once hospital staff detects signs of distress in either the mother or baby, a C-section should typically be performed in roughly 30 minutes in order to avoid trauma. If the delivery team does not act quickly to perform a C-section, irreparable harm to a mother or her child can result.
To prevail on a medical malpractice claim, you must prove that a doctor performed below the expected standards in his or her field. That usually requires the testimony of experts and a great deal of technical medical information. A lawyer can help you convey these complicated medical details in a manner that the jury will find easy to understand, in the event a case goes to trial. Even if the case settles before trial, a lawyer can assist with the interpretation and charting of medical documents, organizing them in such a way that they have maximum persuasive effect.
Patients in Washington and nationwide have a right to expect professional treatment from their doctors, and many juries agree that doctors should be held accountable for medical errors. For that reason, it is essential to contact an attorney as soon as possible if you believe you are the victim of negligent medical care.
Source: WBAL-TV, “Jury Awards Family $55 Million in Medical Malpractice Suit,” Phil Yacuboski, June 26, 2012