A California court has just approved a jury verdict awarding $900,000 to the family of a child born with a birth injury. The medical malpractice lawsuit was filed after the infant sustained a serious brachial plexus injury following a difficult delivery. In order to establish that the obstetrician handling the labor and delivery was negligent, a medical expert testified concerning the requisite standard of care. Typically, to establish negligence in cases involving any type of medical malpractice, a physician or other health care professional is compared to similar health care professionals in similar circumstances, looking at a variety of factors. The standard of care is usually established through expert witnesses.
In this instance, the expert testified that the doctor provided negligent obstetric care by failing to properly screen for several risk factors that pointed to a increased likelihood of shoulder dystocia occurring. This failure in turn, led to the child suffering harm. Had the doctor performed certain tests – such as the 3 hour glucose test – and recognized the risks involved, the child may have been delivered via emergency c-section rather than vacuum extraction, which occurred in this instance.
Where a risk of shoulder dystocia exists, vacuum extraction is generally not recommended.
After reviewing the testimony presented in this case, the court determined that the expert evidence was proper and affirmed the jury award for the child.
For more information or if you believe that you or a loved one has suffered medical malpractice, please contact the dedicated Los Angeles birth injury lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.