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Child stillborn, mother injured after vacuum extraction.

WHEN THE MOTHER'S LABOR SLOWED at a birthing center, she received several medications including castor oil, blue cohosh, and black cohosh to induce labor. The mother was later transferred by ambulance to a hospital. Ninety minutes after admission, the ObGyn used vacuum extraction to deliver a stillborn child. The mother sustained damage to her rectum, uterus, and vagina, had repair surgery, and has been unable to get pregnant again.

* PARENTS' CLAIM While in labor at the birthing center, the castor oil, blue cohosh, and black cohosh caused the patient's uterus to contract excessively and contributed to fetal death. The patient should have been transferred to the hospital earlier. Cesarean delivery should have been performed immediately upon her arrival at the hospital but the ObGyn did not arrive at the hospital for an hour after the patient's admission.

* DEFENDANTS' DEFENSE The head midwife at the birthing center conceded negligence. The hospital claimed that the fetus was already dead before the mother arrived. The ObGyn denied negligence, arguing that he had no supervisory role or ownership in the birthing center and was not present during the mother's labor. He also claimed that the fetus was dead in utero 12 or more hours before delivery and that an infectious process had developed in the mother during the 17 hours that she was at the birthing center.

VERDICT A $4,095,000 Florida verdict was returned against the ObGyn. A directed verdict was granted for the hospital.

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Title Annotation:Medical Verdicts: NOTABLE JUDGMENTS AND SETTLEMENTS
Publication:OBG Management
Date:Jul 1, 2015
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