Medical Verdicts

Did fetal injury occur before hospital arrival?


Undisclosed California venue

Soon after a woman at full term presented to a hospital, fetal compromise was noted on heart-rate tracings, but no intervention was taken. At birth the child suffered severe acute asphyxia, leading to brain damage, kidney failure, and hypertension.

In suing, the plaintiff claimed that the Ob/Gyn was negligent for not responding to the fetal distress in a timely manner.

The defense argued that the child’s injury occurred before the mother presented to the hospital, and maintained that delivery staff acted expeditiously once further deterioration was noted on fetal monitoring.

  • The parties settled for $1.3 million.
The cases in this column are selected by the editors of OBG Management from Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements & Experts, with permission of the editor, Lewis Laska, of Nashville, Tenn ( While there are instances when the available information is incomplete, these cases represent the types of clinical situations that typically result in litigation.

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