SETTLEMENT : Brain damage to infant during birth
On July 13, 1995, Jane Doe, in the last stages of pregnancy with her second child, was admitted to San Gabriel Valley Hospital. This hospital was also where she had delivered her first child via C-Section after failing to progress in a vaginal birth under the care of her doctor and future defendant M.D. Yet, she desired to attempt a vaginal birth after C-Section (VBAC) for this second child to which the defendant OB/GYN agreed.
Injuries & Trauma Resulting From Medical Malpractice
Once checked into the hospital, the doctor induced labor with Pitocin. Jane Doe labored for over twelve hours with very little progress. At 9:00 p.m., the doctor saw she had dilated 3 to 5 centimeters and permitted her to continue laboring after which he left the hospital. From then until shortly before 2:00 a.m., Jane Doe was monitored by a hospital nurse.
At 1:00 a.m., Jane Doe was said to be fully dilated and ready to push. Without consulting any staff physician, the attending nurse shut off the epidural and Pitocin and instructed Jane Doe to push for over an hour. Just before 2:00 a.m., the fetal heart monitor registered fetal distress and bradycardia yet the attending nurse again failed to immediately notify the patient’s doctor and later failed to insert an internal fetal scalp electrode once the machine lost signal from the fetal heart monitor. At 2.00 a.m., the nurse finally notified the patient’s doctor, who arrived at the scene within ten minutes to perform a C-Section.
The emergency C-section showed that the uterus had ruptured at the mother’s previous C-section incision line. The baby’s head had emerged through that rupture and into the peritoneal cavity. To further complicate matters, the anesthesiologist did not arrive until after the baby was born and so the largest part of the C-section was done with only a local anesthetic that caused intense pain and suffering for the mother.
The Medical Malpractice Lawsuit & Settlement
The trauma inflicted in this hour before birth left Jane Doe’s baby with anoxic brain damage resulting in cerebral palsy and a permanent vegetative state. Both parents suffered extreme emotional duress both during the night of birth and after. They hired the attorneys at Booth & Koskoff to represent them against in a medical malpractice lawsuit against San Gabriel Hospital. The plaintiffs allege that Jane Doe was never a proper candidate for VBAC and that her doctor should have advised against it. Furthermore, that the conduct of the attending nurse, the failure of any hospital staff to properly monitor the labor process, and the failure of the hospital to have an anesthesiologist on premises during Jane Doe’s delivery fell below the standard of acceptable care.
Ultimately, Booth & Koskoff negotiated a $1.75 million cash settlement on behalf of the grieved parents.