Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Pennsylvania woman awarded $4 million for botched C-section

A jury awarded a Pennsylvania woman $4 million after the negligence of an obstetrician caused injuries to mother and child during a August 2009 delivery. The child, who is now four, suffers from neurological injuries and mild cerebral palsy resulting from the doctor's failure to perform a cesarean section. Her mother is now incontinent and is no longer able to work. According to court documents, he continued with a natural delivery even though the woman's labor had stalled.

Court papers revealed that the woman's baby weighed approximately 10 pounds four days before she went into labor. Both the woman and her mother expressed concern regarding whether it was safe enough to deliver a baby that large, and the doctor reassured them that they had no need to worry. However, once the woman entered the hospital to deliver her baby, her labor did not progress for almost eight hours. According to the testimony of an expert witness for the plaintiff's medical malpractice attorneys, the doctor should have realized that a cesarean delivery was a safer route.

The doctor continued with a vaginal delivery, and when the woman became too tired to push, he used forceps to help the process. During the procedure, the baby was deprived of oxygen for 3 1/2 minutes after the baby's shoulder got stuck on the mother's pelvis. The baby had to be resuscitated by the neonatal intensive care team at the hospital and was later transferred to a Philadelphia facility where she went through a procedure to cool the brain in order to minimize the damage due to lack of oxygen.

Giving birth should be a joyous occasion; however, there are some cases where medical malpractice and negligence may occur. A skilled attorney may be able to review a particular case as well as ascertain whether it is feasible to obtain compensation.

Source: The Morning Call, "Lehigh County jury awards $4 million in birth injury suit", Peter Hall, September 11, 2013

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