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Parents awarded $800,000 for hospital's negligence during birth

Doctors are often accused of being too quick to choose a cesarean section as the method of childbirth. Although there may be many unnecessary C-sections, the surgery can be a lifesaving operation for a child and mother. Unfortunately, there are some circumstances that warrant a C-section, but a doctor neglects to offer one. Massachusetts's parents may be interested in one case of negligence during birth where a couple's child showed evident distress and was born stillborn.

According to the lawsuit, the mother realized she had gone into labor in the early hours of the morning. As many parents do, they notified the hospital of their pending thirty-minute estimated arrival. Despite the notification, they stated that they were not seen or evaluated by a physician for at least an hour after they arrived.

As the woman waited on evaluation, she was hooked up to a fetal heart monitor. The couple claimed in the lawsuit that the baby showed evidence of distress. According to the couple, the baby's heart rate decelerated multiple times or lowered significantly. When a baby's heart rate unexpectedly drops, it can be an indication that something is very wrong. Sadly, for the couple, it was an indication of distress, and the baby died before she could be delivered.

After hearing the couple's case over the period of a week, the jury determined there was evidence of the hospital's negligence during birth. The jury determined a compensation amount of $800,000 was warranted for their loss, and the family is hopeful there will be more vigilance in the future from physicians for other parents and children during childbirth. Other Massachusetts parents who have suffered similar losses following the birth of a child may find comfort after speaking to an attorney about their options for legal recourse.

Source:, "Couple awarded $800,000 in hospital lawsuit", Zack McDonald, March 15, 2018

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