$800,000 Settlement in Birth Injury Resulting in Death of Baby case
2013 Confidential Settlement
The plaintiff mother, then twenty-seven years old and a small woman by stature, presented to the hospital at 39 weeks 6 days pregnant to deliver her full term baby girl.
At arrival at approximately 5pm, the mother was placed on an electronic fetal monitor and her vitals were taken. Thirty minutes later at 5:30pm the fetal heart rate tracing was discontinued, reported as reassuring, and the mother was admitted to the hospital at 6:15pm at 6cm dilated after examination by the defendant nurse midwife.
Between 6pm and 7:45pm no fetal heart rate was documented although the defendants claimed periodic fetal assessment was performed by dopppler.
The defendant certified nurse midwife (CNM) again examined the mother at 7:45pm and one of the defendant nurses noted that the mother was in the tub, 9.5cm dialted with a bulging bag.
At 8:35pm the defendant nurse midwife examined the mother and found that she was fully dilated at 10cm. The mother’s water was then artificially ruptured and the mother progressed into the second stage of labor and was to begin pushing. The amniotic fluid was noted to be clear and odorless.
At 9:40pm the defendant nurse midwife documented that the fetal heart rate was in the 140s with doppler. At that time one of the defendant nurses also documented that the fetal heart rate was 135 with moderate variability, accelerations, and variable decelerations.
A 10:15pm, the defendant nurse midwife again examined the mother and estimated that the baby’s weight was 8 ¾ pounds, that the mother’s pelvis was adequate, and that the fetal heart rate was in the 150s with moderate variability. About that same time, one of the defendant nurses documented that the baby’s heart rate was 150 with moderate variability, accelerations, and variable decelerations. Around this time there was a disagreement between the defendant nurse midwife and one of the defendant nurses about the position the mother should be put in and both women left the room several times while the mother was pushing without explanation.
At 10:40pm one of the defendant nurses documented that the baby’s heart rate was 160 with moderate variability no accelerations, and with variable decelerations. At this time the defendant nurse midwife alerted the defendant obstetrician that the mother had been pushing for two hours.
After a nursing shift change, the second defendant nurse assumed the care of the mother and at 11:30pm documented that the fetal heart rate was heard before, during and after contractions and was in the 140s with accelerations.
The case settled for $13.995 Million after a several mediation sessions.
Halstrom Law Offices, P.C. attorneys Frederic Halstrom represented the plaintiff in this matter.