Articles Posted in Prenatal Care Negligence

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In cases involving obstetric malpractice, a plaintiff will typically exercise her right to a trial by jury. A jury trial allows a panel of the plaintiff’s peers, rather than a judge, to assess whether the defendant caused the plaintiff to suffer harm and if so, what damages the plaintiff should be awarded for the harm she suffered. While in many obstetric malpractice lawsuits trying a case in front of a jury results in an appropriate award of damages for the injured parties, that is not always the case. The law provides a remedy for verdicts that are clearly against the weight of the evidence, however, as illustrated in a recent New York case in which the court reversed the ruling where a jury failed to award damages despite finding the defendant obstetrician liable. If you or your child suffered harm due to obstetric errors, you should speak with a capable Rochester obstetric malpractice attorney in a timely manner to discuss your case and what compensation you may be able to recover.

The Plaintiff’s Treatment

Allegedly, the plaintiff fell when she was 37 weeks pregnant. She presented to the hospital that day, where she was treated by the defendant obstetrician. The defendant performed a sonogram and electronic fetal monitoring, which were normal. His notes indicated concerns regarding a delayed placental abruption, however, and he advised the plaintiff to follow up with her obstetrician. Two days later the plaintiff presented to the office of her regular doctor, the defendant obstetrician-gynecologist for monitoring.

Reportedly, the following day she experienced contractions and vomiting. She returned to the defendant’s office three days later and reported she was suffering abdominal pain. The defendant did not perform fetal monitoring. Two days later the plaintiff underwent an emergency cesarean section. The plaintiff’s child was extremely anemic at the time of her birth and suffered from cerebral palsy. She was unable to walk, use her arms, or feed herself and required constant care.
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In many medical malpractice cases, there is more than one medical care provider that may be liable for causing the plaintiff harm. Unfortunately, in some cases, the court will dismiss a person’s medical malpractice case in its entirety if the defendant physicians offer sufficient proof that they did not deviate from the applicable standard of care.

As shown in a recent New York case in which the plaintiff alleged gynecologic medical malpractice against multiple doctors, the court will not dismiss the injured party’s claim against all of the defendants unless each defendant rebuts any specific allegations of malpractice that were set forth by the injured party. If you or a loved one were harmed due to gynecologic medical malpractice, it is in your best interest to speak with a trusted Rochester medical malpractice attorney to discuss the facts of your case and your options for seeking damages.

The Plaintiff’s Treatment

Reportedly, the plaintiff treated with the defendants, an obstetrician/gynecologist, and a perinatologist, throughout her high-risk pregnancy. It was noted throughout the plaintiff’s pregnancy by the defendant obstetrician/gynecologist that she had a low lying placenta. At the end of her pregnancy, the plaintiff underwent a procedure that was performed by the defendant obstetrician/gynecologist that was meant to induce labor but caused the plaintiff to hemorrhage.

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If your doctor failed to diagnose your child with cystic fibrosis prior to birth, you may have a right to financial recovery through a wrongful birth claim. Our experienced Rochester wrongful birth attorneys have a long history of advocating for victims of medical negligence and can apply our acumen to your case. We are dedicated to protecting the right of victims of birth defects in New York.

Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that causes life-threatening lung infections, difficulty breathing, digestive problems and finally death. The child is born mucus glands that are abnormally active and the high levels of mucus secretions lead to breathing difficulty and ultimately tissue and organ damage. In short, children born with cystic fibrosis typically live severely compromised lives and often pass away before reaching the age of 20. There is no cure for the condition, only treatment for the different symptoms that a patient may present. According to studies, nearly one out of every 2,000 infants born in the US or Western Europe tests positive for the condition.

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As people decide to have children at an older age, fertility clinics have grown in popularity. In addition, medical advances related to fertility have been a focus on medical researchers. For example, the NIH reports that the amount of research dollars related to fertility has grown from $78 million to $86 million over the last few years. However, as more people seek the services of fertility specialists, there are growing risks for New York birth injuries and prenatal care negligence. There is a current case pending before a New York court of appeals that revolves around the potential liability of a fertility clinic as it relates to genetically defective eggs.

The plaintiffs are two separate couples who allege that a New York fertility clinic, through the clinic’s fertility doctor, provided eggs that led to their children being born with genetic disorders. Both children have what’s known as Fragile X syndrome, which is a disease that can cause mental and physical developmental issues. The plaintiffs’ complaint alleges that the defendants, the fertility doctor and his clinic, failed to test the women who donated the eggs in question to assess whether those women were carriers for Fragile X syndrome. The damages relate to the expenses of caring for a disabled child.

The primary issue in the case is whether the claim is time-barred by New York’s statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims. Generally, the statute of limitations for a claim is 36 months from the date of the alleged act of malpractice.

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Childbirth injuries can be caused by innumerable factors, but the most common reason for a childbirth injury is pre-term birth. Sometimes the patient shows warning signs or symptoms that she might be experiencing pre-term birth. The patient’s doctors have the responsibility to recognize those symptoms and act accordingly, or as formulated under New York law, perform medical services in accordance with the applicable standard of care. The plaintiff in a New York birth injury lawsuit claimed that her physicians did not heed the early warning signs, and as a result, her child was born deaf and with vocal cord damage. The jury agreed, awarding her $26 million in damages after a month-long trial.

The plaintiff conceived twin girls via in vitro fertilization. However, the plaintiff began showing signs of preterm labor only five months into her pregnancy. The plaintiff visited the Brooklyn medical center, where she was being treated, and complained of painful cramping and brownish fluid releases, which suggested signs of internal bleeding. During her two visits, the plaintiff was seen by a resident rather than an attending doctor. Both times, she was discharged. The plaintiff’s experts argued that the doctors could have prevented what happened next if they would have ordered bed rest or prescribed to her hormones that can suppress premature labor. The plaintiff had a sonogram one week later and learned that her cervix had shortened from three centimeters to one centimeter.

The plaintiff delivered twins later in the month while they were premature.  One of the twin sisters died a month after childbirth. The other twin suffered hearing loss and vocal paralysis, allegedly as a result of the medical center’s negligence.

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Prenatal care is the health care provided while a person is pregnant. A failure to provide proper prenatal care can lead to injuries not only to the child’s parent but also to the child in their earliest stages of development. A woman brought a New York medical malpractice lawsuit, on behalf of her son, alleging that two of her doctors failed to provide proper prenatal care, resulting in her child’s cerebral palsy. The Second Judicial Department of the Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division agreed with the plaintiff that there was a triable issue concerning whether the doctors had breached their standard of care.The plaintiff sued the doctors after her son, who has cerebral palsy, was born. The plaintiff, during her pregnancy, developed a condition known as preeclampsia, which is a condition connected with hypertension and organ damage that can lead to complications during pregnancy, including harm to a fetus. Her doctors tried to treat her condition but ultimately decided to deliver the baby once the fetal heart rate started to slow down. The plaintiff’s complaint alleged that the doctors failed to perceive the warning signs of her condition and failed to provide the proper treatment after she went to the hospital.

Expert testimony is crucial to presenting medical malpractice claims. Both defendants and plaintiffs rely on the testimony of experts because a determination of negligence requires the examination of technical medical details.

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