TC Palm discussed the latest happenings last week in a new medical malpractice lawsuit that was filed on behalf of a mother and young infant who both suffered injuries as a result of complications from a traumatic birth. According to the family’s medical malpractice attorney, the suit was rooted in the failure of the involved medical staff to act in a timely fashion to prevent a dangerous situation from resulting in more complication than necessary. The failure to as quickly as possible (and as demanded by the situation) is a common theme in medical malpractice suits stemming from preventable injuries incurred by children during their birth.
In this latest case, the child developed cerebral palsy, after a delay in use of a C-section to remove the child from his mother’s womb. The mother, a 39-year old woman and herself a registered nurse, was apparently allowed to have regular labor even though the medical professionals involved knew that the child was in fetal distress. The plaintiff alleges that a prudent medical team, faced with the situation of distress in front of them, would not have delayed in taking emergency action. They argue that a C-section should have been performed immediately. Instead, there was a delay. Had the same steps been taken fifteen minutes earlier (claims the medical malpractice lawyer involved) then the child would have been perfectly healthy.
Instead, the team did not action quickly enough. As a result the child developed cerebral palsy from oxygen deprivation. The mother was also injured, ultimately resulting in the loss of all of her reproductive organs. Following the traumatic birth the family filed the medical malpractice lawsuit against the involved obstetrician and neonatologist.
The trial is set to begin soon with jury selection to take place as early as today. When a case goes all the way to trial, the jury selection process is the first stage in the matter. Selecting a jury itself can take several days, and it is often a particularly long process in these sorts of cases. Medical malpractice cases can take several weeks. In this case the judge noted that he expects there to be at least fifteen days of testimony and deliberation. The need to have a wide range of (often complex) medical testimony makes these cases last a bit longer than some other injury trials. Consequently, the jury selection process usually requires a larger potential pool than in other cases. Many of those in the original pool may not be able to serve for the length of time required for these long cases. The judge noted that the original pool of fifty potential jurors will likely need to be expanded.
Readers should not forget, however, that it is actually not necessarily common for most of these cases to go to trial. More often than not, after both sides have a chance to gather potential evidence in the matter, an amicable settlement is reached. This is the case because quite often it becomes very clear that a party was negligent in certain ways. As a result, the negligent party is willing to reach a fair settlement instead of going through the long and often costly trial process.
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