Malpractice: Family Awarded $55 Million for Delayed C-Section

Malpractice via Babble

Back in 2010, Enso Martinez and wife Rebecca Fielding had hoped to deliver their son in the comfort of their own home with the aid of a midwife. But after hours of labor, the delivery became complicated and Ms. Fielding was reportedly rushed to John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland  But once there she allegedly had to wait hours for the emergency C-section that was necessary for her son’s delivery. According to the parents, the long wait caused devastating damage to their baby due to a loss of oxygen.

Their son Enzo is not just permanently physically disabled, but also severely mentally disabled. The family argued that if the operation and delivery had happened in a timely manner, their 2-year-old boy would be totally fine today.

The family sued the hospital for malpractice and, in what the Baltimore Sun states is the largest malpractice judgment ever in Maryland, the couple was awarded $55 million. Of course the case is being appealed by John Hopkins Hospital, but if the judgment does stand then the family will receive the state cap of $29.6 million, and the money will be held in a trust and used only to care for their child.  The funds would pay for such things as 24-hour-a-day care for their son and a new home that is wheelchair-friendly.

The hospital’s legal team argued that the damage to Enzo happened when the mother had been laboring at home and that it did not happen while at the hospital. “While we certainly sympathize with Ms. Fielding’s situation, we are frankly stunned and surprised that the jury found for the plaintiff in this case given the evidence that was presented,” Gary Stephenson, director of media relations and public affairs, said in a statement. “We strongly deny the allegations in Ms. Fielding’s complaint and continue to firmly believe that the medical care provided to Ms. Fielding by Hopkins was entirely appropriate given the circumstances.”

Do you think $55 million is fair or do you think it’s too much in our litigious society?

Image: iStockPhoto

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