Failure to perform a timely Cesarean section surgery is one of the most common forms of medical negligence that gives rise to birth injury lawsuits. There are many situations where birth complications arise due to the fault of no one. Medical professionals cannot control every aspect of a delivery, and for countless reasons a delivery may not go exactly as expected. However, our Illinois birth injury attorneys know that while doctors cannot prevent all complications, they still need to act appropriately to limit the consequences of the unforeseeable complications. When they fail in that regard it may be medical malpractice.
Birth Injury Lawsuit
For example, WBAL News reported this week on the end of a lawsuit filed by a family claiming that they did not receive adequate care during the birth of their son. According to the report the woman went into birth in March of 2010 at her home. Like a growing number of other families, the couple wanted to have the birth at home with a midwife. The delivery went well at first, but complications soon developed. It wasn’t long before the couple realized that they needed to go to the hospital.
The mother described the toll that the process took. She explained, “It was a real nightmare for me. I was in the second stage of labor. I was pushing involuntarily. My body just wanted to get the baby out. The contractions were overwhelming. I was exhausted. It was a very hard time for us.”
The couple expected to have an emergency C-section as they arrived at the hospital because of the complications that posed risks both to the baby and the mother. However, the doctor at the facility did not order an emergency procedure right away. Instead, the mother toiled away for another two hours before the C-section was actually performed. By that time the child had suffered a serious birth injury. Now two years old, he suffers from severe developmental disabilities that will require expensive care throughout his life.
The family contacted a medical malpractice attorney and a medical malpractice lawsuit was filed about eleven months after the birth. The case eventually went to trial which lasted three weeks. The jury returned a verdict in the family’s favor in the amount of $55 million. However, the hospital says it plans to appeal, and so the final resolution in the case will come sometime in the future.
As this case demonstrates, improper medical care takes many forms. In the context of pregnancy, labor, and delivery, often the problems are related not to overt actions that harm a patient but actions that were not performed (or performed too slowly). Medical malpractice, like all negligence suits, involves comparison of the conduct of the individuals in a specific case with that of a reasonable person in the same situation. WIth professional negligence, that “reasonable person” is another similar professional. That is why these cases involve testimony from expert witness to help explain what is reasonable in any given situation depending on the facts.
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