Articles Posted in Birthing Injuries

Any car accident can be traumatic and stressful. But when you are pregnant, all of this is compounded two-fold. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention reports that car accidents are a top cause of injury and death for pregnant women and a leading cause of traumatic fetal death. pregnant car accident Florida

As our West Palm Beach car accident attorneys can explain, crashes can present unique and scary complications for both mother and child. Knowing some of these unique risks and what should be done immediately after can help empower victims and increase your chances for fair compensation from negligent drivers.

See a Doctor – Even if You Feel Fine

First thing’s first: If you’re in a crash, get to the doctor right away, even if you aren’t transported to a hospital via ambulance. This is a critical precautionary measure for both you and your unborn child. Continue reading

West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyerThe statute of limitations on Florida medical malpractice claims is two years from the date of the incident/cause of action. However, it’s important to have an experienced medical malpractice attorney review your claim much sooner than that deadline if possible. There are several good reasons for this, not the least of which is because the (not-always-obvious) federal status of some defendants could mean there are additional considerations that will require more time to prepare the case. There could also be shorter administrative deadlines.

Ensuring your case is not only timely and properly filed but in the correct venue is critical. 

This was one of the matters at issue in the case of P.W. v. U.S., recently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Continue reading

For every 1,000 children born in the U.S., 1.9 suffer some type of birth injury, also referred to as birth trauma. The good news is this rate has fallen from about 2.6 for every 1,000 births since 2004, as the use of instruments like forceps and vacuums have become less common.filing a birth injury lawsuit

But if your child is one of those who has suffered some type of birth trauma, it’s important to talk with an attorney about filing a birth injury lawsuit. A baby who sustains injuries at birth can suffer lifelong consequences to one’s physical, cognitive, psychological and social development. If the cause was medical negligence, the child and his/her caregivers will need additional treatment (therapies, surgeries, special education, etc.) and other support.

Birth injury lawsuits are a type of legal action taken against the doctors, nurses or other medical professionals who may have been responsible for the child’s injuries, which can include conditions like:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Erb’s palsy
  • Brachial palsy
  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Bruising or forceps marks
  • Fractures
  • Subconjunctival hemorrhage
  • Brain damage
  • Other nerve injuries
  • Wrongful death

Continue reading

GateHouse Media recently reported on the trend of more expectant mothers deciding to give birth outside of a hospital, with labor and delivery overseen with a midwife or doula. Many mothers who choose this route say it is a rejection of the sterile and sometimes impersonal experience of a hospital maternity ward, with through-the-roof cesarean section rates, over-prescribed cocktails of powerful pain medications and a hangover of hospital bills.midwife malpractice

But birth outside of a hospital setting has its own costs. GateHouse reports that just in Sarasota County, 1 in 3 home and birth center deliveries ended at a local hospital. Doctors and paramedics say often by the time they are transferred to a hospital, the women have been in labor for three or four days. They’re scared, exhausted, fevered and have higher rates of infection.

Although midwives and birthing centers point to the many successful deliveries they’ve overseen, the problem is that labor in itself is known to be incredibly risky. When something goes wrong, midwives and birthing centers may be unprepared to handle it. Continue reading

A renowned hospital in Baltimore has been ordered to pay $230 million for allegedly causing a severe birth injury, according to plaintiffs. Medical malpractice attorneys understand this case involved failure to abide the standard of care for that profession, allegedly causing severe birth injury.birth injury attorney

The verdict includes:

  • $3.6 million in prior medical expenses;
  • $1 million in lost earnings
  • $25 million in non-economic damages (pain and suffering, loss of consortium, etc.)
  • $200 million in future damages

In Byrom v. Johns Hopkins Bayview stemmed from allegations that doctors and nurses at the hospital gave the child’s 16-year-old mother inaccurate information about the seriousness of the outcome after she was diagnosed with preeclampsia. This, plaintiff attorneys alleged, resulted in the teen mother’s decision to undergo a vaginal delivery – unmonitored – rather than a C-section she should have undergone. Continue reading

You are likely aware that if a physician or other health care provider is negligent in providing medical care, patients have recourse in the form of a Florida medical malpractice lawsuit.Palm Beach birth injury lawyer

However, unlike typical negligence lawsuits, there are all kinds of special rules. For example, claims must first go through a mediation process. The “standard of care” for doctors is different than what is used in general negligence lawsuits. And then there are some cases where doctors can be totally immune from medical malpractice claims if there services were provided on a volunteer basis via F.S. 766.1115.

Volunteer Docs Enjoy Government Immunity

Essentially, if the doctor’s services are provided via contract to the state’s Department of Health free-of-charge as part of an initiative to ensure indigent patients receive care, those doctors have sovereign immunity protection and can’t be named as a defendant in medical malpractice claim connected to that care. Continue reading

South Florida medical malpractice attorneys recognize obstetrics and gynecology as a medical practice area with higher-than-average rates of litigation. Malpractice in obstetrics and gynecology can result in catastrophic injuries and fatalities for both women and babies. A recent survey by Medscape revealed some of the top reasons for lawsuits against Ob/Gyns are:

  • Patient suffers an abnormal injury – 36 percent
  • Failure to diagnose – 22 percent
  • Failure to treat – 15 percent
  • Poor documentation of patient instruction and education – 5 percent
  • Improperly obtaining/ lack of informed consent – 4 percent
  • Failure to follow safety procedures – 3 percent
  • Errors in medication administration – 2 percentbirth injury lawyer

These usually involved a maternal or fetal death, failed tubal litigation, poor timing/ performance of a cesarean section, bowel perforation or shoulder dystocia. A recent case of a catastrophic injury suffered by a baby delivered by an Ob/Gyn at a federally-funded hospital was allegedly caused by the physician’s “unjustified and overly-vigorous use” of forceps during the birth of a child. The child reportedly now suffers from lifelong mental disabilities, and after a jury awarded the family $42 million for this severe brain injury, the federal government has withdrawn its appeal.  Continue reading

Halberg & Fogg PLLC, recently secured a $2.3 million medical malpractice settlement with Golisano Children’s Hospital, stemming from a brain injury and arm amputation of a newborn in 2013.medical malpractice

Halberg fought on behalf of the boy, who was born prematurely at his Lee County home before being whisked to the hospital. As noted in the original complaint, nurses at the hospital are accused of improperly inserting an intravenous line known as a PICC (short for peripherally inserted central catheter).

This medical mistake remained undetected for almost a full week. This was despite the fact the baby had signs and symptoms of serious issues due to impeded blood flow. By the time medical workers discovered their mistake, the newborn’s fingertips were black. His hand was shriveled. Continue reading

A jury has decided to award the parents of 2-year-old Bryan Santana $4.5 million in Palm Beach medical malpractice damages in their civil case against Perinatal Specialists of the Palm Beaches, OB/GYN Specialists of the Palm Beaches, and Dr. Marie Morel. Santana, now 2, has one leg and no arms. He was born in October 2008.

Ana Mejia and Rodolfo Santana sued the defendants for Palm Beach birthing malpractice claiming that Mejia would have never carried the pregnancy to term if they were aware of their son’s severe birth defects. Yet even though Mejia underwent more than one ultrasound, her OB/GYN and technicians at both centers failed to notice that their son was missing three limbs. The two of them said they didn’t know until after they saw their son that he would be so severely impaired. The defendants’ attorneys, meantime, countered that Bryan’s parents should have agreed to an amniocentesis, which might have detected their son’s abnormalities. The couple, however, said they decided not to have that procedure because they feared that doing so might cause Mejia to miscarry.

Mejia and Santana had originally sought $9 million. They made it clear, however, that the compensation they were seeking isn’t for their own mental trauma and emotional anguish but for their son’s wheelchairs, surgeries, attendants, prosthesis, and other needs he will require for the rest of his life. The jury awarded them half that amount when they decided that the ultrasound technician was 15% liable, while 85% of the liability was assigned to Dr. Morel, for errors made that resulted in the incorrect reading of the ultrasound results. The defendants plan to appeal the verdict.

There are medical procedures and tests available that a mother can undergo during pregnancy to make sure that the fetus is a viable and healthy one. These tests are also important for determining whether there are any birth defects that might so serious that terminating the pregnancy is best option.

Jury awards West Palm Beach parents of child born with no arms, one leg $4.5 million, Palm Beach Post, September 10, 2011
Couple sues doctor for baby’s disabilities, UPI, September 8, 2011

Related Web Resources:

Birth Defects, MedLinePlus
Birth Defects, American Pregnancy Association

More Blog Posts:

Florida Medical Malpractice Cap Upheld by US Appeals Court, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, May 29, 2011 Palm Beach County Doctors Cite Fear of Medical Malpractice as a Reason for the Increase in C-Section Deliveries, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, September 15, 2008
Report Links Topamax to Birth Defects, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, July 22, 2008 Continue reading

According to the state’s highest court, the parents of Trista Bennett can sue St. Vincent’s Medical Center for Florida medical malpractice instead of going through a state fund for birthing injuries. The girl, now 10, sustained permanent brain damage after her delivery.

Bennett was delivered by C-section at the hospital after her mother was involved in a car accident. The infant had to be resuscitated after her birth. She later developed respiratory distress and was moved from the newborn nursery to the special care section. She then started to experience kidney problems and liver issues. On October 3, 2001, Bennett stopped breathing after suffering from a pulmonary hemorrhage.

In their Florida medical malpractice complaint, Tammy and Robert Bennett are accusing obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. William H. Long and the hospital of negligence. They believe their daughter was given too much intravenous fluid and that the hospital waited until it was too late to test her for serum electrolyte derangements.

The hospital had contended that the Florida medical malpractice case fell under the state’s Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Plan, which is a non-fault program that is supposed to cover the birth-related neurological injuries of newborns who did not get enough oxygen during labor, delivery, and resuscitation. The Bennetts, however, claimed that their daughter’s brain injury occurred after the “post-delivery period,” and they therefore can sue.

An administrative law judge sided with the Bennetts. The Florida First District Court of Appeal then reversed the ruling. Now, the Florida Supreme Court of Florida has overturned the appellate court’s ruling.

Brain-damaged girl’s parents can sue hospital and doctor, Florida court rules, American Medical News, August 1, 2011

Read the Florida Supreme Court’s Decision

Related Web Resource:

The Florida Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Plan

More Blog Posts:

Florida Woman that Delivered Baby into Toilet Sues Carrollwood Hospital for Medical Malpractice, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, October 7, 2008
West Palm Beach Parents that Gave Birth to Stillborn Twins Say They Will Sue Florida Hospital For Medical Malpractice, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, September 29, 2008
Palm Beach County Doctors Cite Fear of Medical Malpractice as a Reason for the Increase in C-Section Deliveries, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, September 15, 2008 Continue reading

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