Successful Medical Malpractice Defense

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Posted on December 22, 2015 by Fulcher Law

Attorneys Jim Purcell, Susan Mulherin, and Kyle Perry of Fulcher Hagler LLP in Augusta, Georgia secured a defense verdict in a wrongful death action involving the intrauterine fetal demise of a twin at 34 weeks gestation.

Plaintiffs alleged the Defendant, a high-risk OB/Gyn, breached the standard of care in the treatment of Plaintiff and her in-utero twin. Specifically, Plaintiffs alleged a failure to properly monitor the twins following the premature rupture of the twin’s membrane. Further, Plaintiffs claimed that the physician unreasonably delayed delivery and failed to properly communicate instructions to the nursing staff regarding induction of delivery. Plaintiffs sought damages for the wrongful death of their stillborn twin, as well as emotional damages and a claim for physician abandonment. The defense previously defeated claims for punitive damages and attorney’s fees. The co-Defendant hospital settled in the weeks leading up to trial for an undisclosed amount.

Plaintiffs presented expert testimony from an OB/Gyn who claimed that Defendant’s monitoring, orders, and plan of care were beneath the standard of care. Plaintiffs further argued that the twin succumbed to cord compression that would have been detected and resolved with additional fetal monitoring.

The defense utilized medical evidence showing that the cause of the fetal demise was undetermined, including testimony of the autopsy pathologist and records from the physician authored at the time of delivery. Additionally, the defense successfully contradicted Plaintiffs’ assertions regarding missed warning signs and illustrated that the physician’s plan of care was well within the standard of care. The physician testified extensively during trial, withstanding the barrage of cross-examination from a distinguished Plaintiffs’ attorney.

After a weeklong trial, the jury found that the physician did not violate the standard of care in any respect.