Family Claims Delayed C-section Caused Brain Injury In Infant

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of a birth injury case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this birth injury lawsuit and its proceedings.)


According to Defendant: Plaintiffs Marvin Zeref, a minor by and through his guardian ad litem, Menwa Zeref, Menwa Zeref, and Elief Zeref IV alleged that delayed performance of a C-section resulted in permanent neurologic injuries due to prolonged fetal distress. Mrs. Zeref was admitted to the hospital in the late evening. She was seen by Nurse #1, who admitted her to Labor and Delivery, reviewed the fetal heart rate strip, and reported telephonically to the obstetrician on call for the patient’s medical group. Nurse #2 took over the care at 3:00 a.m. She spoke to the obstetrician at about 3:30 a.m. The obstetrician ordered preparation for a C-section. The incision was not done until 4:39 a.m. The baby was born severely depressed, resuscitated, and transferred to the NICU.

Plaintiffs alleged that there was progressively worsening fetal distress caused by a worsening placental abruption. The delay in the C-section was due to nursing and “hospital” negligence in not summoning a back-up anesthesiologist, as the anesthesiologist assigned to Labor and Delivery was doing another C-section. The baby would have been normal if born 30 to 45 minutes sooner. The hospital violated the “30-minute rule” (decision to incision). The obstetrician, before she resolved her portion of the case, gave a deposition in which she was highly critical of the nurses. At trial, she was, again, very critical of the nurses. Plaintiffs’ nursing expert provided a long list of criticisms of the nurses. Plaintiffs’ “hospital administration expert” was permitted to testify over the objections of the hospital as he had no training or licensure as a nurse or a medical doctor.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Defendants contended that the obstetrician arrived at 3:46 a.m. and chose to wait for her partner to show up to do the C-section. The nursing care was not negligent and did not cause a delayed delivery. The placental abruption occurred before the mother was admitted to the hospital.


According to Defendant: Hypoxic encephalopathy, quadriplegia, hypotonia.


According to Defendant: Approximately $180,000 out-of-pocket past medical; $4,500,000 to $12,000,000 future out-of-pocket depending on life expectancy (plaintiffs’ expert opined 50-60 years; defense expert opined 20-25 years). “Obamacare” was ruled inadmissible by the trial judge as speculative due to constitutional challenges; $1,200,000-$1,700,000 loss of earning capacity; three non-economic $250,000 MICRA caps.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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