Birth Injury Verdict Affirmed in Medical Malpractice Case

Birth Injury Verdict Affirmed in Medical Malpractice Case

Birth injury news reports that a California Court of Appeals has just affirmed a jury verdict in a case involving a difficult labor and delivery. According to reports, a jury found that a defendant doctor was liable in a medical malpractice lawsuit and responsible for paying nearly $900,000 in damages to the family of a child who suffered a brachial plexus injury. The obstetrician allegedly failed to perform an ultrasound, which would have shown that the child was large, and at risk for shoulder dystocia.

In general, expert testimony is required in medical malpractice actions to establish that a physician breached the standard of care required in a particular circumstance. If the doctor or other health care professional fails to meet that standard of care, he or she may be found negligent and be required to pay damages that result from the harm caused.

In this instance, the expert testified during the birth injury trial that the physician was negligent in failing to recognize that the infant presented with risk factors for shoulder dystocia and that this failure led to the brachial plexus injury. For example, the obstetrician failed to order the 3-hour glucose test, which would have revealed whether the mother had gestational diabetes. Where the risk of shoulder dystocia is properly determined, it is not recommended to perform a vacuum-assisted delivery as occurred in this case. Rather, an emergency C-Section may have been recommended.

Here, the Court of Appeals determined that the expert testimony was proper and supported the finding of negligence.

For more information, or if you believe that your child may have suffered a birth injury as the result of medical negligence, please contact the experienced California birth injury lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.


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