Maryland Malpractice: Pitocin Settlements and Verdicts
Below is a list of verdicts and settlements in birth injury cases involving Pitocin where the plaintiff prevails. These results are helpful in better understanding how much these birth injury cases are work at the settlement table or trial. But you have to keep in mind that you cannot necessarily predict the value of even seemingly identical cases by reviewing the results of one case. There are just too many variables at play to use one single case as a comparable to another. You will note there are few Maryland cases in here. (Confidentiality language in settlements prevent us from offering our cases.)
- An explanation of the issues and battlegrounds in Pitocin malpractice litigation
- Questions and answers about Pitocin related malpractice claims
- 2018, Illinois: $50,000,000 Verdict. The story here is common. The doctors and hospital staff negligently disregard indications of fetal distress. Instead of performing an emergency C-section, doctors make the situation worse by administering Pitocin to accelerate contractions. The Pitocin increases duress and further restricts the supply of oxygen to the baby. The baby suffers prolonged oxygen deprivation. He is born blue and clinging to life. He is subsequently diagnosed with severe cerebral palsy. This requires full-time medical care and assistance for the rest of his life. The plaintiffs reject a $10 million settlement offer midway through the trial and the jury in Evanston, Illinois (12 miles north of Chicago) awards the plaintiffs $50 million. The damage award included $3 million for lost earnings capacity; $1.3 million for pain & suffering; $8.5 million for emotional distress; $12 million for future medical expenses; and $20 million for future life impairment.
- 2017, Pennsylvania: $14,448,000 Verdict. Plaintiff goes to the defendant hospital to deliver her son. Defendants use Pitocin to begin her labor, despite her already being dilated. This violates the hospital protocol because of the closeness of contractions. Before the delivery, the baby exhibits signs of fetal distress, but there is a delay in delivery. The oxygen lost during that delay changes the course of the child's life. The boy is unable to care for himself and is unable to walk, sit up, or talk. It is just an unbelievable tragedy no matter how you slice it. The jury concludes the doctor and the hospital were responsible for the tragedy and awards $14,448,000.
- 2017, Florida, $33,153,912 Verdict. A newborn suffers a large subdural hematoma (brain bleed between the skull's periosteum and the scalp's tissue) leading to hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy during his birth. As a result, the child needs 24-hour care for the rest of his life. Plaintiff's birth injury lawsuit alleges that the doctors, who were federal government employees, failed to perform a cesarean section, failed to discontinue Pitocin, and failed to manage the decelerations in fetal monitor strips.
- 2016, Pennsylvania: $1,800,000 Settlement. A mother arrives at the hospital to have her labor induced. She is started on Pitocin. The doses are increased incrementally throughout the morning. After a few hours, she requests an epidural, but her membranes rupture. The Pitocin is stopped, but once the fetal heart tones become reassuring again, it is restarted. Six hours after her membranes rupture, her labor has not progressed at all. The Pitocin is continued and changes are noted. After two hours of pushing, decreased variability is discovered in the fetus. A C-section becomes necessary. At birth, her infant has a high fever and is breathing rapidly. As a result of the delayed delivery, the baby suffers from neurological injuries and global developmental delays. The mother files the claim against the hospital, alleging negligence in failing to timely perform the C-section and in failing to realize that due to the Pitocin, the mother's uterus was hyper-stimulated. The defendants deny negligence but settle the claim for $1,800,000.
- 2015, New York: $52,681,017 Verdict. During labor, defendant doctors administer Pitocin. After they administer the drug, they fail to monitor the fetal heart rate and fail to respond to symptoms developing in the mother. As a result, the newborn suffers brain damage, cerebral palsy, blindness, global developmental delays, and motor delays. She is unable to live independently. The mother brings a lawsuit for the child and awards $52,681,017.
- 2015, Florida: $18,270,052 Verdict. A mother is giving birth to her son at the hospital when her labor is mismanaged by the doctor. The woman is given excessive doses of Pitocin, leading to a brain injury and cerebral palsy in the infant. The plaintiff is awarded $18,270,052.
- 2015, Illinois: $5,250,000 Settlement. A mother goes to the hospital to give birth to her son. She is given Pitocin, but the hospital fails to detect signs of fetal distress. As a result, her infant is born via an emergency C-section after he suffers from a lack of oxygen and brain damage. The boy's parents file a claim on his behalf, which settles for $5,250,000.
- 2015, New York: $593,973 Settlement. An infant is born with nerve damage in her spine and Erb's palsy of her right shoulder when during her birth, her mother is administered Pitocin when it is not indicated. Additionally, the doctors delay the performance of a C-section. The parties settle the case for $593,973.
- 2014, Kentucky: $18,270,052 Verdict. A mother goes to defendant hospital to have her baby. While there, she is given excessive doses of Pitocin, resulting in uterine tachysystole (six contractions in ten minutes). The nurses failed to report the fetal heart abnormalities to her OB/GYN, resulting in a delayed medical intervention that would have prevented fetal distress. As a result of the excessive amount of Pitocin that was administered, the infant suffers a permanent brain injury resulting in cerebral palsy due to fetal distress. A jury finds the hospital to be 100% at fault and awards the woman $18,270,052.37.
- 2014, New York: $2,700,000 Settlement. A 19-year-old mother is in labor. Pitocin is initiated. But the doctors fail to recognize the signs of fetal distress and therefore fail to stop the Pitocin. As a result, the child suffers a lack of oxygen to his brain and neurological injuries. The child later dies at just six years old. The plaintiff argues that the Pitocin should have been stopped during the second stage of labor due to excessive uterine activity. The case settles, including a wrongful death claim, before trial for $2,700,000.
- 2013, Pennsylvania: $55,000,000 Verdict. Plaintiff has a slow labor progress despite the administration of Pitocin. Plaintiff argues that the large size of her baby poses a contraindication to a continued administration of Pitocin. Fetal monitoring shows concerning signs of fetal distress, but the labor is allowed to continue. The baby is born limp, blue, and is not breathing. He suffers a lack of oxygen before birth, causing cerebral palsy. Plaintiff argues a series of errors, including the failure to recognize fetal hypoxia and the failure to discontinue Pitocin when signs of strong contractions became apparent. A jury finds the OB/GYN was 50% negligent and the hospital was 50% negligent. They award the plaintiff $55,000,000.
- 2013, Oklahoma: $20,000 Settlement. Plaintiff receives prenatal and delivery services from an OB/GYN at defendant office. A week before delivery, an ultrasound is done that estimates her fetus to weigh seven pounds and four ounces. While inducing delivery with Pitocin, the infant experiences shoulder dystocia. The doctors use force to combat this, which causes severe brachial plexus. The infant is left with permanent left shoulder and arm injuries requiring two surgeries. The plaintiff claims that the defendants were negligent in misinforming the doctors of the size of the infant and by improperly proceeding with a vaginal delivery. Additionally, they argue that the defendants should have never used Pitocin to induce the woman's delivery. The parties settled for $20,000.
- 2012, Illinois: $12,000,000 Settlement. A woman is admitted to the hospital for labor and delivery. Defendant OB/GYN orders Pitocin to induce labor, but fails to perform a Cesarean section when the baby exhibits signs of distress. The woman brings a complaint against the hospital, alleging the failure to monitor her labor, failure to recognize the fetus was in distress, and negligent administration of Pitocin during labor. The parties settle the case for $12,000,000.
- 2012, Ohio: $8,583,000 Verdict. Defendants administer Pitocin to a mother to induce her labor. This creates a stressful utero environment, causing significant stress to the infant. The infant is delivered in a floppy state and fails to receive adequate ventilation and oxygen immediately after her birth. She suffers a loss of oxygen, sequelae of right central seizure activity due to cerebral palsy, spastic quadriplegia, cortical visual impairment, and respiratory distress syndrome. The defendants dispute the claim denying the improper administration of Pitocin. A jury awards the plaintiff $8,583,000.
If your child has suffered a birth injury and you suspect Pitocin was misused during the ramp up to your delivery, call us and let's talk about your options. We have the experience and resources to help you both get the compensation you deserve. Call Miller & Zois today and speak to a birth injury medical malpractice attorney at 800-553-8082 or get an online case evaluation.More Malpractice Claim Information
- Cephalopelvic disproportion misdiagnosis lawsuits often involve the use of Pitocin which is clearly counterindicated in CPD cases
- Uterine rupture malpractice lawsuits that include some settlements and verdicts in Maryland involving the use of Pitocin
- Oxygen deprivation lawsuits resulting from mistakes during childbirth
- Caput succedaneum malpractice cases