The mother plaintiff, pregnant with her first child, was treated by a local doctor who referred her to a hospital for treatment of possible high blood pressure. She was monitored until her delivery date, when an induction was scheduled. The mother plaintiff entered the hospital where she was given Pitocin to induce the labor process. Over the next 36 hours, her labor was monitored. The baby’s heartbeat was likewise monitored and showed ominous signs of problems with the baby. Regardless, the doctors did not act and let labor continue. Finally, after a day and half of labor and inducement, the baby was delivered and it was noticed immediately that she had suffered a stroke in utero. The stroke caused devastating neurological injuries to half of the baby’s brain and has caused paralysis along the right side of her body.
A lawsuit was then filed in Monongalia County, Morgantown, West Virginia against the doctors and the hospital for allowing the mother to labor as long as she did and for not properly monitoring the labor. Damages were sought for the minor-plaintiff’s devastating neurological injuries which were permanent and would last for the rest of her lifetime. The medical records showed that she had problems in the cognitive aspects of her life, as well as with some physical attributes.
Experts for the defendants opined that the stroke occurred either well before labor began or after the minor-plaintiff was delivered and that the forces of labor, the induction or the long labor had nothing to do with the stroke.
Prior to trial, the case was resolved for a substantial settlement.