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$2.5M award in medical malpractice trial over death of a newborn

Many lawsuits that are brought against hospitals are either settled out of court or mediated. However, when these avenues fail, a medical malpractice case may go to jury trial.  Readers in Maryland may be interested that a large verdict was recently handed down against a hospital and an emergency room physician's group for medical malpractice and the wrongful death of a newborn baby.

According to a recent article, a 38-year-old pregnant woman sought emergency medical care at a hospital when she began experiencing severe pain in her side. After reviewing the woman's lab results and sonogram, the emergency room physician accurately diagnosed that the woman was suffering from a hematoma and gallstones. The correct course of treatment for a pregnant woman suffering these conditions, according to experts presented at trial, would be to continue to check the size of the hematoma with additional sonograms. By doing this, physicians would be able to accurately determine if the hematoma was increasing or decreasing in size.

Without regard to the normal treatment plan for this condition, the emergency room physician only gave her a prescription for pain pills and discharged her from the hospital. When family members could not contact the woman the following day, they came to her home and found her almost unresponsive. She was then rushed back to the E.R. The hematoma had increased drastically in size, and her blood volume was down over 50 percent. This caused her kidneys to begin shutting down and also impacted brain function.

Though the woman survived, her baby tragically did not. Her unborn son had died due to the lack of blood flow and oxygen. When the jury heard the arguments in the case and deliberated for two days, they reached a guilty verdict. They determined that the hospital and E.R. physician's group were liable for damages, and awarded a $2.5 million verdict to the woman.

Maryland survivors and family members facing similar tragic circumstances could benefit from contacting an attorney who has experience in medical malpractice law. Unexpected expenses can result from such situations, specifically with regards to medical bills due to hospitalization. Attorneys in this field will be able to discuss the various legal options available and can assist in recovering losses as quickly as possible.

Source: kansascity.com, "After death of unborn son, a rare courtroom victory in medical malpractice case", Eric Adler, June 10, 2016

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