This was not her first delivery. The mother came to the hospital with plans to welcome her fourth baby into the family. Complications during the labor and delivery process led to excessive bleeding. Family and other medical experts accused the medical staff attending to the delivery of causing the bleeding and failing to properly manage the mother's injuries. As a result of these injuries, the mother died. Shortly after her death, the baby was born.
The family took action against the medical staff, aiming to hold the responsible parties accountable for the wrongdoing that led to the death of the mother. The family accused the attending physician, along with the other medical professionals on the case and the physician's obstetric group, of negligence that resulted in the mother's death. The defense attempted to settle, but the family pushed forward and demanded a jury trial. The jury held in the family's favor, awarding over $20 million in damages.
This case provides two valuable lessons for families that find themselves facing similar tragedies:
- Time is not on your side. Unfortunately, these cases are often time barred. It is important to seek legal counsel promptly to begin building a case and file appropriate paperwork before time runs out. The statute of limitations governs the amount of time available to pursue a lawsuit. This time will vary depending on the details of the case and the state where the case moves forward. In Arizona, for example, state law bars many civil suits by a two-year time limit.
- Justice can prevail. Although these cases leave behind unimaginable grief, families can begin to heal by holding the responsible parties accountable for their wrongdoing
Justice can also come in the form of monetary awards. Families who are impacted by these tragedies loose more than just a loved one. They lose a caregiver and must find another to take on this role. This can result in a family member giving up a career or needing to hire additional help. A civil lawsuit can help provide the funds needed to make this happen.