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Woman Recovers $6.5M After Stillbirth


A woman has received a $6.5 million payout after Connecticut doctors diagnosed the child with abdominal ascites and attempted to induce labor. The child, however, would not come out and so, doctors performed a C-section. The doctors became frustrated with the process of inducing labor naturally, but the plaintiffs insisted it could have been done had the proper team been in place. Doctors chose to induce the C-section and the child was born dead.

The parents were given $1.5 million for the wrongful death and another $5 million for medical malpractice.

What happened?

When the hospital attempted to induce labor, the child became stuck, wedged in the vaginal canal by its shoulder blades. During the process of attempting to “unstick” the baby, it suffered a broken neck, torn placenta, and brain damage due to lack of oxygen. The baby was stuck in the birth canal for an extended period of time after having already died.

Wrongful death? 

Parents who have babies that are yet to be born intend on carrying the pregnancy to term. That makes it okay to think of them as persons because the parents have already formed an attachment to the child. In these cases, a wrongful death lawsuit is appropriate even though the baby has not been born and does not have a social security number. It does not trample reproductive rights but rather, reflects the wishes of the parents and situates the matter of personhood in terms of connections to this world.

Abortion wrongful deaths

 Wrongful death lawsuits on the basis of abortion could be something that occurs in some states (Texas) but has yet to find any legal theory that has advanced a case to settlement or a guilty verdict. If it does, then the floodgates would be open for all types of wrongful death lawsuits, the potential for criminal charges after a miscarriage and other serious issues.

However, lawsuits like the above-mentioned are not unique and do have merit under current law.

Embryo wrongful deaths

 It’s been tried, but it was unsuccessful. One company got sued after the refrigeration unit destroyed several embryos that could have been implanted as children. The embryos are not considered persons but only potential persons. Wrongful death is, therefore, the wrong theory of law to file such a lawsuit over. However, some parents lost their ability to have children forever. Such a loss can be compensated.

The verdict 

$1.5 million for a fetal wrongful death is high, but the allegations, in this case, were really upsetting. Most of the money went to compensating the mother for her suffering. The child and mother would have had a better outcome if the care team decided to deliver by C-section.

Talk to an Atlanta Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today 

The Moses Law Firm represents the interests of Atlanta residents filing medical malpractice lawsuits against negligent healthcare providers. Call our Atlanta medical malpractice lawyers today to learn more.


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