In this group of claims, the mother or child is injured during pregnancy or delivery. In fact, this instance common enough that five out of every 1,000 births involve an injury to the child. This group may include:
- Failure to control excessive blood loss during childbirth.
- Failure to monitor or provide sufficient oxygen to the infant.
- Not detecting hypertension, which later results in the mother undergoing a seizure during birth.
- Incorrect usage of medical equipment, such as forceps and the vacuum.
- Incorrectly performing a cesarean section.
- Not assessing or properly responding to any conditions occurring in pregnancy.
With these lawsuits, plaintiffs seek compensation for mental and physical pain, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional pain and suffering, and any additional expenses related to the injury.
Seven percent of all babies are born with a defect. What differentiates this from a birth injury? An injury develops specifically from the birthing process; prior to that point, the child was healthy. Defects, on the other hand, occur before birth. Two common scenarios are:
- The doctor gives an expecting mother a drug, such as anti-seizure, antipsychotic, or antidepressant medications, without warning of potential birth defect risks. Directly as a result of taking one of these medications, the child is born with spinal bifida or a heart defect and requires multiple corrective surgeries.
- The child is born with a defect that medical professionals did not detect, assess, or test for during pregnancy.
Some lawsuits related to defects fall under “wrongful birth.” That is, the parents claim a doctor should have warned them about possible defects, and if they would have known, they would have avoided or ended the pregnancy. Aside from cases related to medication usage, these lawsuits encompass:
- Negligent genetic testing
- Incorrectly or not detecting mental or physical impairments in the early stages of pregnancy.
In filing a claim, plaintiffs seek damages covering costs related to the child’s disorder, medical expenses, education, therapy, and pain and suffering.
Other plaintiffs may file a lawsuit when a procedure to stop or end a pregnancy isn’t effective, including:
- Ineffective sterilization
- Incorrect pregnancy testing
Plaintiffs have been known to seek damages for harm caused by the unwanted pregnancy and birth, medical expenses, and lost wages.
In Connecticut, medical malpractice cases related to childbirth typically have a two-year statute of limitations once the injury occurs or three years from discovery. If you’ve given birth, only to find an injury occurred or a doctor hadn’t informed you of a potential defect, you may have a claim. For more information or to talk with an experienced malpractice attorney, contact one of our Connecticut locations.