Posted On: March 1, 2012 by Moseley Collins

Understaffing and Negligence Result in Sacramento Birth Injury, Part 3 of 3

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of a birth injury case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this birth injury lawsuit and its proceedings.)

Later the same night, the attending nurse changed the times in the progress notes. The nurses and the obstetrician falsely wrote in the delivery record that the fetal heart monitor had been “reassuring” before the birth.

The next day, the obstetrician sat down with the patient on her hospital bed and cried with her over what happened to the baby. Two days later, the obstetrician met with the hospital's risk manager.

Individually and as the guardian of M.T.'s estate, Sarah joined her husband in a lawsuit filed Sacramento County Superior Court against Sacramento Hospital, Dolores Stein, Sacramento Women's Care, Randy Hyle, and Pediatrix Medical Group. Stein, the obstetrician, worked for Sacramento Women's Care. Hyle, a neonatologist who participated in the birth, worked for Pediatrix Medical Group.

The Travises alleged the healthcare professionals and institutions were negligent and failed to possess and exercise the requisite level of care and skill in their care of Sarah and M.T. The hospital was further negligent by failing to select and train competent employees, failing to adopt and comply with necessary policies and procedures, failing to provide and monitor equipment properly, and failing to intervene in Sarah and M.T.'s treatment in a timely and effective manner.

Sarah sought damages on behalf of her daughter for permanent and disabling physical, mental and psychological injuries; physical and emotional pain, anguish, injury, suffering and harm; and impaired earning ability. On their own behalf, Sarah and Erik sought damages for destruction of the parent-child relationship, loss of companionship and support from M.T., and past and future medical and care expenses.

Sacramento Hospital denied the allegations directed at it. By way of affirmative defense, it argued the Travises caused their own damages and should share a proportion of fault, and that they failed to mitigate their damages.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Due to dismissals, only the hospital remained as a defendant in the case that ultimately proceeded to trial before a jury. The Travises offered to settle the matter for $20,000,000. The hospital offered nothing.

Having concluded that the hospital was negligent and caused injuries to M.T., the jury returned a verdict in favor of M.T. Oct. 7, 2008. The jurors set M.T.'s damages at $350,000 for past economic damages, $2,400,000 for future economic damages, and $1,500,000 for noneconomic damages.

The jury determined that the hospital's negligence was not the proximate cause of injuries to either parent.

Verdict: Plaintiffs, $4,200,000.00 from defendant Sacramento Hospital
Breakdown of Award:
$350,000.00 to plaintiff Sarah on behalf of M.T. from defendant Sacramento Hospital for past economic damages
$2,400,000.00 to plaintiff Sarah on behalf of M.T. from defendant Sacramento Hospital for future economic damages
$1,500,000.00 to plaintiff Sarah on behalf of M.T. from defendant Sacramento Hospital for noneconomic damages

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.