A jury reached a $4 million verdict in a medical malpractice case alleging negligence in which an obstetrician delivered a baby. An expert witness testified that the obstetrician should have recognized signs that a cesarean delivery was safer.
The case asserted that the obstetrician did not offer to perform a Caesarian section at any time during labor despite the woman voicing her concerns and an ultrasound four days prior which showed the baby weighted approximately 10 pound. Although her labor stopped progressing for nearly eight hours, the obstetrician proceeded with a vaginal delivery, even using forceps to assist when the woman became too tired to continue pushing. The suit also alleged hat the doctor disregarded clear warning signs that the baby was suffering from shoulder dystocia, a condition in which her shoulder was trapped behind the mother’s pubic bone. This caused the baby to be deprived of oxygen. As a result, the baby required immediate lifesaving resuscitation in the delivery room and later underwent a procedure that cools the brain to minimize damage from a lack of oxygen.
According to the lawsuit, the mother suffered injuries that rendered her incontinent and unable to work, and her daughter, now 4-years-old, suffers mild cerebral palsy and neurological injuries, as well as cognitive and expressive speech delays. The child is currently undergoing treatment including occupational, physical, and speech therapy. She is also enrolled in a special education program. The impact of her delivery on the remainder of her life remains unknown.
It seems justice has prevailed in this case, but, has it? Although the verdict provides some justice, it is unclear whether the entire verdict will be collected because the doctor’s liability insurance is limited to $1 million. Consider the pain and suffering, the mental and emotional anguish this family has already endured. The law cannot give the child a ‘normal’ life; it cannot return the mother to the good health and life she had before her injuries. It can only offer compensation for lost earnings, medical expenses, disability, disfigurement, and pain and suffering. Now this family may also face an appeal. If so, they may endure the entire process a second time. How much longer will the family suffer without compensation, without justice?
Mark Bello has thirty-six years experience as a trial lawyer and fourteen years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation which helps provide cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed by a plaintiff involved in pending, personal injury, litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Member of Public Justice, Public Citizen, the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.
Attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Betrayal Series. Mark Bello is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.