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Childbirth Malpractice Lawsuit Filed Over Death of Newborn

465690557A Texas couple has filed a childbirth malpractice lawsuit over the loss of their newborn son, claiming that negligence on the part of the doctor, nursing staff, and medical facility during the delivery resulted in the baby’s death after an otherwise normal pregnancy.

Holly Bennett was admitted to the Medical Center of Plano on Oct. 25, 2012 for the delivery of her first baby. The child was conceived when she was 36, but showed no indication of abnormalities in either ultrasounds performed throughout the pregnancy or in genetic tests. After a lengthy labor, in which the baby’s heart rate dropped several times, he was born on Oct. 26 in an extremely weakened condition and died 31 minutes after delivery.

Jason Bennett et al v. Columbia Medical Center of Plano Subsidiary L.P.D/B/A Medical Center of Plano et al (case # DC-14-07109) was filed in the District Court of Dallas County on July 3, 2014. Plaintiffs in the case include both Jason Bennett and Holly Bennett individually and as representatives of the estate of Brady Bennett, their deceased infant. The couple is seeking damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, funeral expenses, and punitive damages against all parties named as defendants.

Improper monitoring, delayed C-section, cited in childbirth malpractice lawsuit

The plaintiffs allege that the death of their son was due to the negligence of the medical staff during the labor and delivery process.

The attending obstetrician, Dr. David Fong, gave the order to push when the mother was fully dilated at 3:52 pm. 20 minutes before this point, early decelerations in fetal heart rate, normal at this stage of labor were observed; however, medical staff subsequently began to observe late (occurring toward the end of a contraction) decelerations in heart rate. This is an indication of fetal distress.

Various interventions, including the cessation of Pitocin were performed, but with no response. Despite this fact, Dr. Fong elected to order Pitocin again at 5:20. The fetal heart rate exhibited further irregularities indicative of the baby’s distress and lack of oxygen, but it was not until 7:07 that the doctor began to perform a Cesarean section. The baby was pronounced dead at 7:52.

The plaintiffs have included an expert opinion (Dr. Steven Pliskow of Medical Legal Consultants, Palm Beach, FL) regarding the doctor’s negligence in the delivery as exhibit A. They cite several examples of negligence on the part of the doctor and nursing staff, including failure to notify the doctor concerning the baby’s heart rate, failure to properly monitor the baby, and failure to perform a C-section in a timely fashion. In Dr. Pliskow’s expert opinion, the handling of the birth fell below the accepted standard of care in numerous ways.

Medical center implicated in childbirth malpractice lawsuit

In addition to the obstetrician and nursing staff, the lawsuit also named the medical center where the birth took place, Columbia Medical Center of Plano, as well as partners Columbia North Texas Subsidiary GP and Columbia/HCA of North Texas.

Causes of action with regard to the medical center comprise the following:

  1. Failure to provide adequate staff
  2. Failure to have or to enforce adequate policies regarding monitoring and administration of medications
  3. Failure to adequately train staff