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Delayed C-Section Resulting in Fetal Death

Filed under Birth Injury, Wrongful Death

The Gornik Case

Our client was a 29 year old first-time mother with an uncomplicated pregnancy who went to a major Pittsburgh teaching hospital for the delivery of her full term baby. For many hours, the fetal monitor strips clearly showed that the fetus was in distress and needed to be delivered urgently. Young, unsupervised residents (physicians in training) attempted to manage the delivery with medications but mistakenly prolonged the labor causing the baby to asphyxiate in the womb. By the time an emergency cesarean section was performed, the fetus was virtually lifeless and the child died three days later. Plaintiff obtained a court order forcing the hospital to produce records on its delivery policies. After initial efforts to avoid complying with the Court Order, the hospital admitted that it did have policies and protocols to reduce cesarean sections for “cost containment” purposes, and that it did make efforts to carry out the policy. The case settled prior to trial.