Unnecessary C-Section Malpractice Lawsuit

Fetter v. Prince George's Hospital Center

Woman Getting C-SectionThis medical malpractice claim was filed in Prince George's County after an unlicensed doctor performed an unnecessary and negligent C-section, causing his patient to develop abdominal abscesses. It was filed in Health Claims Arbitration on February 20, 2018, and it is the 84th medical malpractice case filed in Maryland this year.

Summary of Plaintiff's Allegations

At 40 weeks gestation, a woman presented to Prince George's Hospital for the delivery of her baby. Her labor was progressing slowly, but there were no signs of fetal distress. Even though the fetus and the woman appeared to be healthy, a doctor pressured the woman into abandoning her plan for a vaginal delivery. He told the woman that her baby would die if she did not undergo a C-section, so she agreed to the procedure. The medical records document the C-section as "non-emergent."

After the baby's delivery, the woman was noted to have a rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, and a high white blood cell count. Medical staff speculated that blood loss, dehydration, or possibly an infection were causing her symptoms. Three days after her discharge from the hospital, the woman returned via ambulance with shortness of breath, abdominal distention, abdominal pain, and a rapid heartbeat. A CT scan revealed intra-abdominal abscesses located near her C-section incision.

A surgeon recommended that an OB/GYN doctor perform an urgent surgical exploration of the woman's abdomen to locate and remove the source of the infection. The doctor who performed the negligent C-section was listed as the attending OB/GYN. He refused to perform the recommended surgery, electing to drain the abscesses instead. The surgical consult and a surgical resident discussed the need for emergency surgical exploration directly with the doctor, but he continued to refuse their assistance and advice. After hearing that the doctor went ahead with the drainage procedure, the surgeon contacted the Vice President of Medical Affairs to discuss the doctor's actions.

The woman developed multiple intra-abdominal abscesses after the drainage. She underwent a number of additional surgical procedures to eradicate the infection and to repair her surgical wounds.

Additional Comments
  • The defendant "doctor" in this claim was performing surgery and other medical services under eleven different names without an active medical license. In 2017 he pled guilty to social security fraud. You can read about two other cases filed against him this year on January 8th and February 8th. Certainly, this fact increases the settlement value of this case. Dimensions Health has to want this lawsuit to go away. Prince George's Hospital Center has not performed well, evidenced by the "D" report card the hospital received this year. Is this a healthcare provider that needs more bad publicity? You wonder why this case did not settle pre-suit.

  • This is the flip side of most C-section related lawsuit our law firm has filed. Here, the contention is that a C-section should not have been performed. Usually, a C-section is pretty safe. But there are risks and for many moms-to-be. So this procedure is not indicated unless the fetal tracings are abnormal and suggestive of hypoxia-ischemia. Ultimately, that is not really the point here.  If the doctors scared the patient into getting a C-section that later is found to be unnecessary, the doctors should be on the hook for any harm that flows from that error. 

Jurisdiction
  • Prince George's County
Defendants
  • Dimensions Health Corporation, Inc. t/a Dimensions Healthcare Systems d/b/a Prince George's Hospital Center
  • Oluwafemi Charles Igberase
Hospitals Where Patient was Treated
  • Prince George's Hospital Center
Negligence
  • Failing to properly supervise the fraudulent doctor and failing to report and/or prevent his inappropriate activity.
  • Failing to investigate the fraudulent doctor's identity and qualifications.
  • Failing to protect the claimant's privacy from an un-credentialed doctor.
  • Failing to properly perform a cesarean section.
  • Failing to ensure that the operative field and instruments were adequately sterilized.
  • Failing to timely diagnose the claimant's postoperative infection.
  • Failing to have an appropriate physician team staffing.
  • Failing to timely follow up on the surgical consultant's concerns.
Specific Counts Pled
  • Negligent and Grossly Negligent Hiring, Retention, Supervision, Selection, Qualification and Credentialing
  • Invasion of Privacy - Intrusion Upon Seclusion
  • Battery
  • Negligent Entrustment
  • Medical Negligence
  • Lack of Informed Consent
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