Attorneys Carol Nelson Shepherd and Patricia M. Giordano represented a plaintiff mother who presented, at term, to defendant obstetrician’s office with a complaint of decreased fetal movement. She was sent over to defendant hospital for purposes of non-stress testing, which was non-reassuring. Additionally, she presented some increased risk factors including gestational diabetes and a relative lack of weight gain during the pregnancy. Plaintiffs contended that because of the increased risk factors and non-reassuring signs, delivery should have promptly been effectuated by cesarean section. Instead, plaintiff was subjected to a protracted induction of labor during which time the fetal monitoring revealed progressively worsening signs of not only fetal distress but also, in particular, potential fetal anemia. It was not until approximately 14 hours following admission to the hospital that the infant was finally delivered, severely depressed, as a consequence of a hypoxic ischemic insult to the baby already at risk because of anemia secondary to feto-maternal hemorrhage.
Plaintiffs contended that had the infant timely been delivered, she would have been healthy. The case was vigorously defended on causation with the defense contending that the baby was already compromised by the feto-maternal hemorrhage that was unknown and unknowable to the defendants prior to the delivery.
As a consequence of the lack of oxygen at birth superimposed on the anemia, minor-plaintiff suffers from cerebral palsy, cognitive delays, and vision deficits as well as from a seizure disorder. The case was settled at mediation shortly prior to trial.
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