Dallas County (Tex) District Court—On September 21, a gravida, suffering from severe back pain at term, presented to the emergency room. An ultrasound revealed a mass in front of the patient’s uterus interpreted as a hematoma due to blood loss from a leak in the common iliac artery. She underwent an iliac graft and cesarean delivery of a stillborn infant. Seven days later, the woman died from massive organ failure.
The patient’s family sued, arguing that the primary obstetricians caused 2 deaths as a result of their failure to diagnose the common iliac artery leak. Denying negligence, the defendants claimed that the woman had Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a rare genetic disorder, which led to the deaths.
The jury awarded the plaintiffs $440,514.
The cases presented here were compiled by Lewis L. Laska, editor of Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts. While there are instances when the available information is incomplete, these cases represent the types of clinical situations that typically result in litigation.