Thousands of babies are born every year in New York hospitals and others around the country. And while the majority is born happy and healthy, many others suffer from serious medical conditions and birth-related injuries. It’s the responsibility of attending doctors and other medical staff to ensure the health and safety of babies before, during and after the birthing process. One recent medical malpractice lawsuit explores the difficult process of addressing the nature of a birth injury and assigning guilt in some cases.
The child at the heart of the case has no use of her right arm since she suffered major nerve damage during delivery in a Madison, Alabama, hospital. A series of nerves running up from the child’s hand, shoulder, and into her spinal column were allegedly permanently damaged during childbirth. The victim’s mother and legal representation claim that the attending obstetrician caused the permanent injury while trying to maneuver the baby through the birth canal. They argue that it was the unnecessary force of the doctor’s handling of the baby that caused her harm. They also claim that the entire incident could have been avoided if the doctor recognized the risks and recommended birth by C-section.
The medical malpractice lawsuit was heard by a county circuit judge, who heard the physician’s defense argue that the doctor handled the delivery appropriately. They claim that the baby ultimately had to be borne by C-section after it was determined that she was stuck in the birth canal. Several experts, including the defendant herself, testified during the two-week trial.
The jury ultimately decided that the obstetrician was not responsible for the injuries that the babies sustained during birth.
Source: al.com, “After long trial jury finds Madison obstetrician did not commit malpractice,” Brian Lawson, Oct. 4, 2013