A woman had been having premature contractions so she was given pitocin, a hormone that would stop the contractions. She nevertheless still gave birth prematurely on April 4, 2008, on the thirtieth week of her pregnancy. The child developed bleeding and inflammation in the brain as soon as it was born. The bleeding and inflammation in the infant’s brain caused him to develop cerebral palsy.
The mother then filed a suit in damages in behalf of her infant son, claiming that the child suffered brain injury due to the of the obstetrician-gynecologist who assisted at his birth. She claims that the obstetrician gave her too much pitocin which made her placenta break. This break in the placenta caused air to leak into the child’s lungs while it was still inside her uterus and caused the bleeding in the infant’s brain. The mother stressed that instead of giving her pitocin to stop her contractions the obstetrician should have just gone ahead and delivered her baby through cesarean section. The mother claimed that because the obstetrician did not timely remove her child from her womb, the rupture of the placenta caused air to leak into the child’s lungs which caused his bleeding in the brain and which caused him to develop cerebral palsy.
The doctor presented her own testimony that there were no indications that the mother’s placenta was already ruptured or was about to rupture at the time that she was admitted. She claimed, as did the experts she presented that the cesarean section performed was performed at just the right time. And she further testified that there is no medical evidence that the bleeding in the child’s brain was caused by anything other than its prematurity. There is also no evidence that an earlier delivery by cesarean section could have prevented the bleeding in the brain. The bleeding in the brain of the child are expected complications of premature birth and are not due to the mismanagement of the mother’s labor and delivery.
The plaintiff then presented her own expert witness who testified that the failure to timely perform a cesarean section is a deviation from common medical practice. The obstetrician practicing in the Bronx and Brooklyn should have seen from the fetal tracings that there was already a threatened placental rupture. The administration of pitocin to stop the contractions is also a deviation from accepted practice as it further increased the risk of rupture of the placenta. These two deviations from commonly accepted medical practice increased the risk of the child developing bleeding in the brain which was the immediate and proximate cause of the child’s cerebral palsy. The expert further opined that had the obstetrician immediately delivered the child by cesarean section, there would have been a significant decrease in the chance of the child developing neurological disabilities.
The Court then ruled that with the presentation of preliminary evidence by both parties and the expert testimony procured by them, there are material issues of fact that have to be determined in this case.
Here, the experts agreed that the infant’s cerebral palsy was caused by the bleeding in his brain. The experts also agree that the infant would not have cerebral palsy had not the bleeding in his brain deprived him of oxygen. In this case, the plaintiff’s evidence may not have proven how the obstetricians acts or omissions decreased or increased the infant’s chances of developing cerebral palsy but the plaintiff’s evidence presented so far is sufficient to prove that material issues of fact have yet to be established at trial and this consideration alone precludes any summary dismissal of the complaint. The fact that so many conflicting factual allegations remain makes it clear that a summary judgment of dismissal of the complaint is not proper at this time.
A New York City Brain Injury Attorney needs to prove that not only did the doctor deviate from established medical procedure; the deviation from procedure was the proximate cause of the brain injury. A NYC Brain Injury lawyer needs also to prove the sequence of events that brought about the injury. At Stephen Bilkis and Associates, their New York Brain Injury lawyers are ready and willing to assist you not only in drafting your complaint, their NY Brain Injury lawyers can also present evidence in your behalf. Call Stephen Bilkis and Associates today and speak to any of their NY Brain Injury lawyers who can help you get the just compensation you seek for the injury you or your loved one sustained.