$7 million upstate Pennsylvania settlement on behalf of child who suffered brain injury during the course of labor/delivery.
Attorneys Carol Nelson Shepherd and Patricia M. Giordano represented a minor-plaintiff’s mother who presented to the hospital with a high-risk pregnancy but reassuring signs on fetal monitoring initially. During a protracted second stage of labor, the baby developed non-reassuring signs which the nurse failed to appreciate and failed to call the attending obstetrician. Although he was present on the Labor & Delivery floor the defendant obstetrician failed to check on the patient at any time during more than two and a half hours of second stage of labor. Testimony revealed there were monitors in the central nurses’ station as well as the “call room” which he apparently either failed to look at and/or failed accurately to interpret as he never came to his patient’s bedside until after the nurse had delivered the baby.
Defendants were prepared to defend not only the negligence allegations but also contend that changes in the placenta were consistent with maternal drug use during the pregnancy and would account for the minor-plaintiff’s condition, evidence that Shepherd and Giordano were prepared to rebut. At the time the case was scheduled for trial, the mother was in jail on drug and other charges.
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