Medical Verdicts

Dilation & curettage fails to end pregnancy


Hamilton County (Ohio) Common Pleas Court

A woman underwent a D&C at 7 weeks’ gestation because her ultrasound showed a suspected blighted ovum. Two months later the woman thought she was still pregnant and returned to her ObGyn, who confirmed the pregnancy and told the woman he could not verify the child would be without injury.

The baby was fine at birth, but the woman had anxiety and depression concerning her child that developed almost into a psychosis.

In suing, the woman claimed negligence in the doctor’s failure to perform additional testing before the D&C. The physician maintained that reliance on the ultrasound results was reasonable and that the plaintiff’s fears were unreasonable because her child was healthy.

  • The jury awarded the plaintiff $372,000; posttrial motions were pending.
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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