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Preeclampsia Birth Injury Lawsuit Alleges Negligence Caused Baby’s Death in Utero

185935203A woman has filed a preeclampsia birth injury lawsuit alleging medical malpractice led to the death of her baby in utero. The plaintiff in the complaint claims medical staff failed to properly treat her condition during pregnancy, which caused both her and her unborn child to suffer serious injury and suffering.

Medical malpractice lawsuit filed in Los Angeles

The lawsuit was filed by the plaintiff mother in Los Angeles County Superior Court on June 3, 2014. The plaintiff lists both Dignity Health and Dr. Roy Silver as defendants on the complaint. Dr. Silver was an employee of Dignity Health at the time of the plaintiff’s pregnancy and was in charge of her care during her pregnancy and delivery of her child. The plaintiff alleges that Dr. Silver “negligently failed to exercise the proper degree of knowledge and skill in examining, diagnosing, treating and caring for” the plaintiff and her unborn child.

Dr. Silver cared for the plaintiff while she was pregnant from August 9, 2012, to June 5, 2013. During the pregnancy, which was the plaintiff’s first, she experienced concerning symptoms like persistent pain in the lower pelvic region, swelling of her hands and feet, and elevated blood pressure. Tests also showed the baby to be much larger than average.

Preeclampsia goes untreated

Despite these symptoms, which indicated preeclampsia, Dr. Silver failed to address the condition during the plaintiff’s pregnancy. Preeclampsia is a serious condition that is most commonly seen in first pregnancies during the third trimester. Special care must be taken of the pregnant woman when preeclampsia is diagnosed, which might include medications, bed rest and even hospitalization in some cases.

The only way to “cure” preeclampsia is to deliver the baby as soon as it is safe to do so. However, that did not occur in this situation, and on June 5, the plaintiff experienced “fetal demise,” meaning the baby died in utero. Although the plaintiff wanted the baby removed from her womb right away, medical staff waited for her to go into “natural” labor, which occurred two days later. This caused the plaintiff additional emotional distress as she had to wait for the birth of a child she knew to be dead.

Although it is not unusual in a stillbirth situation to wait for natural labor to begin, parents usually have the choice of delivering the child right away or waiting for contractions to start. Immediate delivery is done using the medication Pitocin to bring on contractions. According to the complaint, the plaintiff in this case was not offered that option.

The plaintiff is now seeking special and general damages from the defendants, claiming the death of her child has left her with both physical disability and emotional distress. Due to the situation, the plaintiff was unable to return to her vocation for a period of time, causing her to lose income during the experience. At the same time, the plaintiff has been burdened with the expense of hospital and funeral bills to pay for her and her baby’s medical care and the burial of her child.

The amount of damages in the preeclampsia birth injury lawsuit is expected to be determined by the jury at the time of trial.