Tim Frets and John Witten Obtain Defense Verdict in Medical Malpractice Birth Injury Case

john-wittentim-fretsOn June 17, 2016, attorneys Tim Frets and John Witten obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a labor and delivery nurse in a two-week jury trial in Clay County, Missouri.

The plaintiff’s mother was 35 weeks pregnant on June 29, 2007. The mother awoke early that morning with abdominal pain, cramping, and decreased fetal movement. Later that morning, she went to her OB/GYN’s office. The doctor evaluated her and his differential diagnosis included preterm labor and placental abruption. The doctor sent the mother to the hospital for further evaluation. Upon arrival, the nurse placed the mother on electronic fetal heart monitoring and her blood pressure was taken. The blood pressure was elevated, but had been normal in the doctor’s office. Within approximately 15 minutes of arrival, the mother experienced increased abdominal pain. The nurse paged the doctor. Shortly after the doctor’s arrival, he performed an emergency c-section and ultimately determined that the mother had suffered a placental abruption.

The plaintiff alleged that the nurse delayed in communicating her status report to the doctor, which delayed the delivery of plaintiff. Plaintiff alleged this delay caused the plaintiff to suffer hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, cerebral palsy, and spastic quadriplegia. The plaintiff asked the jury for $8,674,102 in future medical expenses and $1,335,063 in lost earning capacity. The plaintiff also sought an unspecified amount in past and future non-economic damages such as pain, suffering, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life. After less than three hours of deliberations, the jury returned a defense verdict.