Infant Born with Significant Neurological Abnormalities in San Francisco Medical Malpractice Lawsuit, Part 2 of 2

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of a medical malpractice 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. It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this medical malpractice case could just as easily occur at any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser Permanente, UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco General, California Pacific Medical Center, or St. Francis Memorial Hospital.

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

At 32 weeks, the perinatologist interpreted the ultrasound as showing calcifications in the liver, intrauterine growth retardation and polyhydramnios. An amniocentesis confirmed the presence of chickenpox viral DNA in the amniotic fluid, with no other abnormalities shown on the ultrasound or amniocetesis. At 36 weeks, the second obstetrician delivered the baby via Caesarean section.

The baby had significant neurological abnormalities.

The plaintiff and her fiancé sued the first obstetrician, the second obstetrician, the perinatologist and the genetics counselor for medical malpractice.

Plaintiffs’ counsel contended that the second obstetrician should have vaccinated the plaintiff mother before she became pregnant; the second obstetrician should have administered VZIG after exposure to the chickenpox virus; and the defendants should have recommended amniocentesis and discovered signs of congenital varicella on ultrasound before 26 weeks gestation.

The defense contended that the vaccination had been recommended to the plaintiffs; that VZIG was not proven to protect fetuses from congenital chicken pox; and that the plaintiffs had the option of having amniocentesis, and that ultrasound abnormalities did not show up until 32 weeks gestation.

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

Demands were unspecified.

Claims of “invariable custom and practice” of informing patients about the need for vaccination were placed in doubt when investigators found no such practice. Also multiple experts testified that VZIG would likely have prevented the congenital infection in the baby.

The genetics counselor was dismissed for waiver of costs.

RESULT: Settlement
Award Total: $3,325,000

After the plaintiffs revealed the sites on the 24-week ultrasound where clear signs of congenital varicella were missed, the perinatologist settled his portion of the case for $1,425,000.

After most of the expert dispositions were completed, the obstetricians settled for $950,000 each.

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

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