Often, a birth injury lawsuit will be filed because doctors neglected to
perform a C-section in a timely manner. For instance, in 2010, Johns Hopkins
doctors left an expectant mother sitting in a hospital for two hours as
they waited for blood test results. Her baby was born with
cerebral palsy because he’d been deprived of oxygen, according to a CBS News affiliate.
Two years later, jurors awarded the family a record-setting $55 million
verdict, which broke down to “$25 million for future medical expenses
and a life-care plan, $4 million for future lost wages, and $26 million
for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering,” the family’s
medical malpractice attorney told baltimoresun.com. Due to tort reform
laws, the $26 million was reduced to $665,000.
In a strange twist, May 16, 2014, nytimes.com reported that a woman is
suing her doctors for forcing her to undergo a C-section, and she may
not be the last if statistics are any indication.
“Across the country, nearly 33 percent of births, or almost 1.3 million,
were by cesarean section in 2012, according to the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention. The World Health Organization recommends that
the rate should not be higher than 10 to 15 percent,” the article
stated. “The increase in the number of C-sections has been attributed
to a rise in high-risk pregnancies; a desire by doctors and mothers to
schedule their deliveries; and fears of malpractice lawsuits should the
baby be injured during a normal delivery, which typically takes far longer
than a cesarean. Obstetricians pay some of the highest malpractice insurance
premiums of any medical specialty because of the frequency of
But as writer Anemona Hartocollis noted, health officials have warned that
a C-section is more likely to cause injury or
death. In the case of 35-year-old Yinat Dray’s lawsuit, doctors cut her
bladder during the surgery. Her
medical malpractice claim also alleges that doctors forced her to undergo a procedure she
did not want.
“The hospital record leaves little question that the operation was
conducted against her will,” Hartocollis wrote. Dr. James J. Ducey,
director of maternal and fetal medicine, handwrote, “I have decided
to override her refusal to have a C-section,” and added that the
hospital’s attorney agreed with his decision.
Hartocollis consulted Dr. Howard Minkoff, chairman of obstetrics at another
facility, who said a pregnant woman has the right to refuse a C-section,
even if it puts the baby’s life in jeopardy.
“I don’t have a right to put a knife in your belly ever,” he said.
Contact Mellino Law Firm’s Birth Injury Lawyers with Your C-Section Questions
If you have questions about a C-section that caused a disability, attorney
Chris Mellino invites you to
contact our Cleveland office for a free consultation. You may also download Chris’
free, easy-to-read guide,
Your Ohio Medical Malpractice Questions Answered, read
testimonials, and learn about previous