Labor Mismanagement Causes Cerebral Palsy & Death At Age 5; Parents Receive $1.2 Million Settlement

After a normal pregnancy, a young mother went into labor with her first child. The labor was not progressing properly, and nurses notes confirmed that the nurses were worried about the lack of progress with our client's labor. Testimony revealed that the nurses were hesitant to share their concerns with the obstetrician, because the doctor had a reputation for being hostile to nurses who raised questions about patient care. Because the nurses did not intervene, the obstetrician allowed the labor to persist for many hours despite evidence of fetal distress. When the little girl was born, she was floppy and had to be resuscitated emergently. Thereafter, she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and required constant attendant care.

Lawyers for the hospital and doctor argued that the child's Apgars and test results did not indicate that the child's brain injury had occurred near the time of delivery. However, Martin & Jones retained nationally-renown experts in the fields of maternal-fetal medicine, child neurology, pediatric neuroradiology and neonatology who explained that the radiology findings and the type of cerebral palsy developed by the little girl were textbook examples of a particular type of cerebral palsy which can occur due to lack of oxygen immediately before delivery. The little girl passed away soon after the suit was filed, and the parents then agreed to settle the matter for $1.2 million because they wanted to put the matter behind them.

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