Many more families than not chose to have their child born at the hospital. Considering the sheer number of children born in hospitals with doctors instead of at-home with midwives, it is not surprising that most Illinois birth injury lawsuits allege medical malpractice at hospitals and not misconduct by midwives. However, that is not to say that midwives cannot be held accountable for preventable errors made during the process that lead to a birth injury. On the contrary, the law specifically allows families hurt by negligent midwives to demand accountability and redress when negligence causes harm.
For example, earlier this week The Republic shared the story of one suit which recently settled that had been filed by a couple after their child suffered a serious brain injury as a result of what they claim was mistakes on the part of the midwives hired to guide them through the birthing process. The defendants in the case were a mother-daughter team that owned a birthing center together and they were hired to help the plaintiff’s in the case. However, the family claimed that the two women did not provide the level of care that the law demands.
According to the story the mother went into labor and went to “The Baby Place” to have the child in the summer of 2008. Yet, the family claims that during the birth the child was deprived of oxygen. As a result the child was born with a severe brain injury. She will likely face severe complications as a result of the injury for the rest of her life.
The couple eventually sought out the counsel of a birth injury lawyer and field suit against the negligent midwives. Recently, an agreement was reached whereby the couple agreed to pay the family $5 million. This will avoid a costly, time-consuming trial.
Unfortunately, our Illinois birth injury lawyers know that reaching the settlement in this situation does not automatically mean that the family will receive the award to which they are entitled. That is because the midwives did not carry any malpractice insurance. In fact, the family is planning to seek bankruptcy protection.
That midwives have had their share of recent problems. On top of the injury to the child in this case, the midwives had already lost their license to deliver children after three different children died during childbirth. In one of those cases, one of the midwives allegedly delayed paramedics from entering the patient’s room, ultimately contributing to the death of the child. In another case a student widwife improperly cut a child’s umbilical cord, leading to the child’s death. The third case involved a child who was born with a very shallow heart rate and clear signs of distress. Yet the midwife delayed before calling any emergency help.
As this situation demonstrates clearly, it is absolutely vital for local families to properly research the midwives that they are considering using. Only experienced, qualified professionals should be involved in these delicate processes. Also, it is important to ensure all those helping in childbirth have proper insurance to pay for the potential consequences of any errors in the process.
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