December 8, 2011

Wisconsin is not particularly known for its medical malpractice verdicts but a jury verdict during 2010 supports the proposition that Wisconsin juries will award proper monetary damages when medical malpractice affects babies.

In a medical malpractice case decided by a Milwaukee County jury in May, 2010, there was evidence produced during the trial that the pregnant woman’s dilation failed to progress adequately during many hours of labor. Once the woman was finally fully dilated, the delivering obstetrician instructed the nurses to have the mother push and then he left the delivery room for over one hour. When he returned, the woman was still pushing and he continued to allow her to push despite the lack of normal progression with the birth, believing that he could deliver the baby by forceps delivery despite the baby’s compromised oxygenation that required a Cesarean delivery. The obstetrician allowed a resident (a doctor in training) to attempt a forceps delivery but the resident was unsuccessful. The obstetrician then twice attempted a forceps delivery and had the resident apply vacuum for the delivery. The baby was subsequently delivered but with skull fractures from the forceps and with the results of severe hypoxia (lack of oxygen to the brain). The baby was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

The obstetrician claimed in defense of the medical malpractice claims against him that the baby’s cerebral palsy was due to a type of stroke for which he was not responsible. The jury believed the plaintiff’s experts and found otherwise, awarding $23.2 million in damages in the medical malpractice case.


The baby, Laron Birmingham, was five-years-old by the time of the May, 2010 medical malpractice trial. He will never be able to live independently or be employed due to his birth injuries. The $23.2 million medical malpractice verdict included past and future medical expenses for the little boy, pain and suffering, loss of income, and compensation for his mother, Kishia Lee’s, losses.


Birth injuries due to medical malpractice are among the most serious and longest-lasting results of bad medicine. The vast majority of  newborn deliveries are uncomplicated and progress naturally. Often the obstetrician needs only to let nature take its course but needs to be ready if things go awry. Prompt and appropriate intervention by the obstetrician can avoid most medical malpractice claims by avoiding most medical errors and medical mistakes. When it comes to delivering babies, things can go bad quickly and the results can be traumatic or fatal if proper intervention is lacking or untimely.

Birth injuries are a tragic source of medical malpractice claims. If you or a loved one suffered birth injuries or birth trauma due to suspected medical negligence in any state in the U.S., visit our website or telephone us toll free at 800-295-3959 to be connected with local medical malpractice lawyers who may be able to investigate your possible medical malpractice claim and represent you in your medical malpractice case, if appropriate.

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