Queens County (NY) Supreme Court
A 32-year-old pregnant woman was diagnosed with a large fibroid that blocked her birth canal and prevented vaginal delivery.
When she presented to a hospital for cesarean delivery, the physician performed a low transverse incision and encountered bleeding. He then switched to an inverted “T” incision and delivered the infant safely. The mother, however, continued to bleed and required a hysterectomy.
In suing, the woman claimed that the physician should have performed a vertical incision, as the low transverse incision caused excessive bleeding. She added that in making the improper incision the physician might have cut the fibroid or its blood supply.
The doctor argued that he had used proper judgment in selecting a low transverse incision. He claimed that a higher incision would have put the baby at risk for injury.
- The jury awarded the plaintiff $750,000.