Failure to Timely Deliver Baby Via Emergency C-Section Leads to $5.25 Million Verdict

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center recently reported that it paid $5.25 million to settle out of court a medical negligence claim brought by the parents of a brain-damaged baby that had been delivered in 2006.  According to the Complaint, the child's mother was admitted to the hospital at approximately 3:20 p.m.on April 28, 2006.  She was noted to be in the early stages of labor.  Her obstetrician, Walter B. Hull, M.D., failed to deliver her son until approximately 5:10 a.m. the following morning.  During the course of the labor, Dr. Hull administered the drug Pitocin to the mother.  Pitocin is a medication that increases the frequency and intensity of uterine contractions, essentially inducing delivery of the baby.   The medication is given through an IV and the dosage is regulated by a pump.  Whenever Pitocin is used, it is understood that the well-being of both the mother and the fetus must be monitored carefully.  Pitocin is the synthetic brand name of the labor hormone, Oxytocin.   It is well known, however, that one of the side effects of Pitocin is that it decreases the supply of blood and oxygen to the baby.  Accordingly, when Pitocin is administered, it is important to monitor the baby carefully for changes in its condition.  Moreover, delivery must occur within a certain amount of time so as to avoid the likelihood of injury to the baby.  In short, if the labor is stalled, health care providers should intervene to prevent the mother and/or baby from developing an infection and/or sepsis. 

Following the administration of Pitocin, the Plaintiff's baby began demonstrating clear signs of distress requiring an emergency c-section.  Unfortunately, Dr. Hull failed to perform the c-section in a timely fashion.  As a result, the baby was born with a profound brain injury caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain.  He now requires round-the-clock care for his lifetime, not to mention hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical care expenses. 

At STSW, our lawyers routinely are asked to represent parents of infant children who have suffered profound brain injuries during the labor & delivery process.  In most instances, these infants are found to have suffered global cognitive delays along with the inability to complete most activities of daily living.  To properly care for these infants in their early years and as they grow older, millions of dollars are required.  Accordingly, it is important that parents of brain-injured children seek the representation of competent attorneys who are familiar with how to properly pursue these legal cases and secure the necessary experts to testify in court as to the baby's past and future needs.  In order to successfully pursue these cases, our lawyers will need to retain experts in the fields of obstetrics, maternal fetal medicine, neonatology, pulmonology, cardiology, life care planning, vocational rehabilitation, physical medicine and rehabilitation, nursing, economics and neurodevelopmental delays.  Our attorneys routinely handle these types of cases in the Baltimore / Maryland and Washington D.C. areas and are available for a free consultation at 410-385-2225.