Infant Wrongful Death in Baltimore Against OB/GYNs

Anonymous v. Gabbay, Feldman & Pearlman, P.A.

This is a medical malpractice infant wrongful death case filed by a woman in Baltimore City. This case was filed in Health Claims Arbitration on January 10, 2017, and it is the tenth medical malpractice claim in Maryland filed in 2017.

Summary of Plaintiff's Allegations

Plaintiff, a 34-year-old woman, goes to defendant obstetrician's office just over 40 weeks pregnant. Defendants discover that she is only one centimeter dilated and that she is only 50% effaced. She tells them that she experienced a loss of fluid and bleeding. A test is done, which indicates a loss of amniotic fluid before her arrival at defendant's office.

Plaintiff alleges this is where the medical malpractice begins, arguing that the standard of care would be to send her to the hospital for further evaluation. But no non-stress tests are provided, and the woman is sent home after being told she will undergo induction later that week.

Two days later, she goes to the hospital with contractions three minutes apart, bleeding, and blood clots. She states she does not feel the baby moving, and fetal monitoring reveals moderate viability but with positive, late decelerations. The plaintiff is only two centimeters dilated and 90% effaced. She is admitted to the hospital under the care of defendant doctor with a possible abruption.

That afternoon, plaintiff experiences a drop in her blood pressure when she is five centimeters dilated. By evening, she is having increased abdominal pain and is found to be pale. Plaintiff is allegedly told of her condition. A couple of hours later, she is found to be six centimeters dilated, but her membranes have ruptured, and she is noted to have thick meconium, which is an additional factor that warrants delivery of the baby in a timely fashion. Defendants also find that the baby is large and that his head is not descending properly, which is another indication for delivery. However, defendants decide they will re-check plaintiff in one hour.

When they recheck her, she is still only six centimeters dilated and 100% effaced. The doctors decide to watch her, which is allegedly contrary to the standard of care. They administer Pitocin and find that there was minimal to moderate variability. Later that night, they state they are going to take her for a cesarean section. It is unclear whether this is in the medical records or is a report from the patient.

But she is not taken for a cesarean section. She receives an epidural bolus. The fetal heart rate drops. The woman is moved to the operating room, where the baby is delivered 18 minutes later. During delivery, a large amount of blood comes from the woman's uterus. The infant had suffered such distress that he suffers acidosis. He is transferred to a different hospital with brain damage. He dies the following day.

The plaintiff alleges that the actions of these doctors led to the death of her newborn son.

Additional Comments
  • The infant died on November 8, 2013, which is three years past the statute. Presumably, there was a tolling agreement in place which is not uncommon if there is an effort to reach a settlement before suit is filed.
  • The case in going to hinge in no small measure on how the medical records read from that first visit. How much amniotic fluid was lost in the test that was done? How much blood was lost?
  • pregnant errors The plaintiffs' OB/GYN expert also must be strong on the question of whether the two days would have made a difference. Both sides will be talking out of both sides of their mouth on this to a certain extent, but the paradox of the doctors' argument will be more pronounced to a jury. Defendants are going to say that the baby would have died anyway after the first visit where she reports bleeding and amniotic fluid loss. But, somewhat paradoxically, they are going to argue that even though there was this baby was in irreparable stress it was still wise not to do anything about it. That is a tough juggling act.
  • The damages in this case are going to be limited to the cap on non-economic damages in malpractice cases of $906,250.
Jurisdiction
  • Baltimore City
Defendants
  • Three OB/GYNs
  • Gabbay, Feldman, and Pearlman, P.A.
Hospitals Where Patient was Treated
  • Sinai Hospital of Baltimore
Negligence
  • Failure to fully inform and advise plaintiff of material risks associated with continuing labor without cesarean section
  • Failure to employ appropriate treatment, surgery, tests/procedures
  • Failure to thoroughly evaluate plaintiff and her infant's condition
  • Failure to evaluate effects of chosen treatment
  • Failure to adjust the treatment in response to appropriate evaluation of the effects of treatment
  • Failure to properly monitor condition and treatment
Specific Counts Pled
  • Negligence
  • Lack of Informed Consent
  • Loss of Consortium
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