There’s something particularly tragic about a child who is injured during delivery. Partially, it’s the recognition that the infant was robbed of so much potential — right at the moment when all that potential should have begun. Partially, it’s the recognition that the parents have nurtured a healthy infant for 40 long weeks — only to have that infant’s health destroyed by a careless mistake at the last moment.
Perhaps that’s why a judge handed down such a severe verdict in a case involving a Florida mother and a doctor who treated the delivery of a newborn like an inconvenience.
The mother had every right to expect her delivery to go smoothly — her pregnancy had been uneventful. She was in the last stages of labor when the obstetrician on duty finally showed up. When her delivery stalled, he gave orders to put her back on a drug intended to increase the contractions and then wandered off to have a phone conversation with his stockbroker.
He should have performed a cesarean delivery instead. Because he didn’t, the child wasn’t breathing when he was finally born. While the medical team revived him, the infant was left with devastating brain damage as a result of oxygen deprivation.
Instead of owning up to his mistakes, the doctor first told the devastated mother that her child’s condition was her fault because she hadn’t pushed hard enough during delivery. Then, he falsified the medical records to show that the mother had refused the cesarean.
Fortunately for the mother and her child, the nurse on duty was honest and testified about what actually happened. As a result, the judge ended up issuing a $33.9 million verdict in the federal malpractice case.
Adding to the tragedy is that this isn’t the first time the same doctor has injured a child during delivery. At least three other infants have been similarly injured during birth — and the doctor has faced no personal repercussions because he works for a federally-funded clinic that serves low-income or uninsured patients.
If you and your child have been the victim of medical malpractice during childbirth — take action. Get an attorney to protect your rights and help you get the compensation your child will need for the future. For more information about how our firm’s approach to these kinds of cases, please visit our page.