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Stillbirth Malpractice Lawsuit Alleges Egregious Physician Oversight

Stillbirth Malpractice Lawsuit Alleges Egregious Physician OversightAt a time when plaintiffs in a recent NY lawsuit should be celebrating the birth of their twin babies, both are reeling in the aftermath of a devastating and unexpected stillbirth of their twins – allegedly at the hands of a group of doctors and hospitals unable to properly care for the high-risk pregnancy in a reasonably safe and prudent manner.

According to a lawsuit received February 28th, 2014 by the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Queens, the husband and wife plaintiffs are seeking damages both for loss of consortium and pain and suffering – and named nine defendants as likely responsible for their devastating experience.

Basis of plaintiffs’ pain and suffering claims against their healthcare providers

The first of plaintiffs’ two claims centers around the pain and suffering both experienced as a result of losing their children in utero. Specifically, the complaint alleges that the stillbirths were caused by the “careless and negligent acts of each named defendant.”

The defendants include:

  • Plaintiffs’ gynecologist and obstetricians
  • Phoenix OB/GYN services
  • Ocean Perinatology, PLLC
  • New York Hospital Center of Queens

The plaintiff alleges that her doctors and specialists, as agents of the hospital or medical center wherein each is employed, substantially deviated from proper and universally accepted standards of obstetrical and gynecological care – resulting in the death of the babies.

With regards to the mother’s prenatal care, the plaintiffs make the following contentions:

  • Defendants failed to complete required physical examinations or take plaintiffs’ medical histories into account
  • Defendants failed to timely and adequately treat infection
  • Medical personnel failed to diagnose the mother’s premature rupture of her membranes
  • Failure to order the required ultrasounds and diagnostic testing to properly safeguard the babies in utero
  • Failure to heed plaintiffs’ complaints and mother’s symptomology
  • Failure to create a cohesive care plan between the medical team
  • Failure to properly follow-up with the mother, resulting in missed test and misdiagnoses

Plaintiffs allege loss of consortium in stillbirth malpractice lawsuit

Under New York law, immediate family members (e.g., spouse or children) may join in a lawsuit for personal injury or wrongful death by asserting a cause of action for loss of consortium. In general, this concept refers to the plaintiff’s loss of companionship or spousal relationship due to the collateral effects of the injury.

In this case, the husband plaintiff has asserted a loss of consortium with his spouse due to the extreme emotional nature of her stillbirth experience. More specifically, he alleges a loss of “services, society, support, affection, companionship and consortium” as a result of his wife’s experience following her devastating loss.

The plaintiffs tie both the doctors, medical facilities and hospital into the complaint under the legal doctrine of vicarious liability. This concept refers to the liability that is assigned to an employer for the negligent acts or omissions of its employees – assuming the negligence occurs within the scope of employment.

The plaintiffs’ allegations span from June, 2011 through the date of the stillbirth, September 19, 2011.