By its decision rendered on June 30, 2015, the Court of Appeals Eleventh Appellate District Trumbull County, Ohio (“Appellate Court”) affirmed an Ohio medical malpractice jury’s verdict in the amount of $13,902,000 in favor of the medical malpractice plaintiffs, for the severe and permanent birth injuries suffered by a baby due to oxygen deprivation causing brain damage as a result of the medical malpractice defendants’ failure to deliver the baby by emergency Cesarean section delivery.
The Ohio medical malpractice jury trial began on September 28, 2010 and ended on October 21, 2010, at which time the jury returned a verdict of $12,102,000 in favor of the child and $1,800,000 in favor of her parents. The defendant anesthesiologist, his employer, and the hospital had previously settled with the plaintiffs for $6,500,000, which settlement was approved by the Probate Court on October 18, 2010 (the child was allocated $2,400,000 of the settlement and the balance of $4,100,000 was paid to the child’s parents). The trial judge off set (reduced) the jury’s verdict to reflect the prior settlement amounts: to $9,702,000 in favor of the child and the child’s parents’ award was deemed satisfied. The defendants filed an appeal, citing eleven alleged errors.
The Underlying Facts
The 38-year-old pregnant woman had a due date of December 26, 1999. Her pregnancy was uneventful but she had gone pass her due date, leading the defendant obstetrician to decide to induce labor. During the late hours of January 3, 2000, the fetal monitoring strips showed an increasing pattern of non-reassuring decelerations in the baby’s heart beat, and by the early morning of January 4, 2000, the decelerations were ominous, indicating fetal distress.
The plaintiffs’ medical malpractice expert testified that the baby was suffering from lack of oxygen and that the standard of care required the defendant obstetrician to offer an emergency Cesarean section delivery, which was never performed. The plaintiffs’ expert testified that by 1:00 a.m. on January 4, 2000, the baby began to experience irreversible brain damage due to lack of oxygen. The defendant obstetrician performed a vaginal delivery using a vacuum extractor at 3:48 a.m.
It was ultimately diagnosed that the baby had suffered hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, resulting in cerebral palsy and severe disability (the child cannot move without assistance, essentially has no use of her arms or legs, cannot feed herself, and is unable to speak, all of which are permanent).
The Appellate Court thoroughly discussed each of the appellants’ eleven assignments of errors that they argued would require that the Ohio medical malpractice jury’s verdict, and the trial judge’s calculation of the appropriate set-offs for the settlement amounts received by the child and her parents, be overturned. The Appellate Court ultimately ruled that all eleven assignments of errors lacked merit, and that “The judgment of the Trumbull County Court of Common Pleas is affirmed. All pending motions are hereby overruled.”
Source Cobb v. Shipman, Case No. 2013-T-0117.
If you or a loved one suffered a birth injury in Ohio or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find an Ohio medical malpractice lawyer, or a local medical malpractice lawyer in your state, who may investigate your birth injury claim for you and represent you in a birth injury case, if appropriate.
Visit our website to submit a short, secure form, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959, to find birth injury lawyers in Ohio, or birth injury lawyers in your state, who may assist you.
Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.