The development and implementation of the Cesarean section has likely contributed to the survival of mothers and babies who, without the procedure, would have suffered from devastating or fatal injuries. Unfortunately, not all obstetricians in New Jersey are as well-versed as they should be in determining when it is appropriate to use the procedure. The failure to do a timely C-section can be an enormous contributor to devastating birth injuries that might have otherwise been avoided.
An out-of-state family filed a medical malpractice suit on behalf of their permanently disabled 3-year-old daughter. According to their claim, the attending physician during the girl's birth was negligent in providing adequate and necessary care. In particular, it is alleged that he waited far too long to perform a C-section.
The suit asserts that the newborn's heart rate was undergoing an enormous amount of stress during labor and continued to worsen as time progressed. Despite apparent indications that a vaginal delivery would not only be unsafe but also impossible for the mother, it is claimed that the obstetrician still waited until irreversible damage had already been done. Although the C-section was ultimately performed, the small girl is blind, unable to walk or talk and will never be capable of caring for herself. Currently she is unable to even eat normally, instead relying on a feeding tube.
The federal judge overseeing the case ruled in the family's favor and found that the failure to do a timely C-section ultimately caused the young girl's brain damage. The subsequent award totaled $9.6 million for the child's injury and continued medical care, while the mother was compensated for her distress to the tune of $250,000. Although the precise amount of legal recourse varies from situation to situation, successfully navigating a medical malpractice suit to completion is often one of the best courses of action for New Jersey victims and their families to take. While nothing can undo the devastation of having such a joyous occasion darkened by the negligent acts of a health care provider, any resulting compensation can help families move forward and continue to provide their loved ones with the best care possible.
Source: sacbee.com, "Judge awards $9.6M to child in medical malpractice case", Nov. 2, 2015