After Mary Hunt was diagnosed as having possible preeclampsia, she was admitted to a hospital for induction of labor. Her treating physician ordered Pitocin and transferred her to an on-call obstetrician, Dr. Larry Clark.

Dr. Clark delivered Mary’s son vaginally using forceps. As a result of the difficult delivery combined with the forceful use of forceps, the baby suffered abrasions to his head, a cephalohematoma, and bleeding within the brain.

The child is now 3 years old and suffers from right-sided hemiplegia, developmental and speech delays as well as vision problems.
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Monique Thomas and Christopher Mitchell sought damages in a lawsuit alleging that Dr. Edgard Khoury and Dr. Robert Kagan caused the wrongful death of their fetus from injuries suffered during an elective surgery performed on Thomas. A pregnancy test before the surgery alerted the doctors that Thomas was “potentially pregnant.”

After an inconclusive ultrasound, defendant physicians proceeded with the surgery. A short time later, the pregnancy was confirmed. As a result of the drugs that were used and the procedures in this surgery, they asserted the fetus was exposed to health risks that resulted in a nonviable fetus. Mitchell and Thomas then had to decide whether to terminate the pregnancy. They decided on ending the pregnancy by an abortion following which Thomas and Mitchell sought damages in this lawsuit alleging the surgery injured the fetus, leading to the wrongful death.

In denying defendants’ motion to dismiss pursuant to Section 2-619(a)(9) of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure, the trial court found a substantial ground for difference of opinion after the scope and application of the second and third paragraphs of Section 2.2 of the Wrongful Death Act (740 ILCS 180/2.2), and certified this question:
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This Supreme Court case comes from an appeal twice to the appellate court and originally from the Circuit Court of Adams County, Ill. The issue was “whether the ruling of the appellate court, 2016 IL App (4th) 150843, reversing the judgment and remanding this case for a new trial requires a trial de novo on all claims.” The first appellate court decision answered this question in the affirmative. The Illinois Supreme Court granted motions by the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel to file an amicus curiae brief in support of defendant and the Illinois Trial Lawyers’ Association (ITLA) to file an amicus curiae brief in support of plaintiff’s position.

Because the resolution of the appeal concerned a narrow-certified question, the Illinois Supreme Court summarized the facts pertinent to making its decision.

In August 2015, plaintiffs Kristopher Crim and Teri Crim, acting on behalf of their biological son, Collin Crim, who was born on June 17, 2005, filed a fourth amended medical malpractice claim against the defendant, Gina Dietrich, D.O., alleging two claims: (1) Defendant failed to obtain Teri’s informed consent to perform a natural birth despite possible risks associated with Collin’s large size, and (2) defendant negligently delivered Collin, causing him injuries. The allegations supporting the informed consent claim are found in paragraph (a) through (j) of plaintiffs’ fourth amended complaint, while sub-paragraphs (k) and (l) concern the allegations related to professional negligence during the delivery of the child.
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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has affirmed a federal court’s exclusion of evidence regarding the defendant physician’s general reputation on internet websites.

In this case, Sheena Dorman, Dillon Ming and their minor child sued obstetrician Dr. Richard G. Welch and his medical practice, Annapolis OB-Gyn Associates P.A., alleging that the defendant physician’s negligence in applying lateral force during the child’s birth led to the development of Erb’s palsy.

The jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants. The plaintiffs appealed, challenging several of the trial court’s evidentiary rulings.
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Terri Franklin had a history of hypertension. For that condition, she was prescribed Benicar. When she became pregnant at age 30, she continued to take Benicar while receiving prenatal care from obstetrician Dr. Alvin Sermons.

Her baby had a stroke in-utero, and after the birth, the baby was diagnosed as having brain damage, skull abnormalities, and intestinal and kidney problems. It is likely that the child will require a kidney transplant in the near future.

Franklin and the child’s father, individually and on the child’s behalf, sued Dr. Sermons and his practice, Dunwoody Obstetrics & Gynecology P.C., alleging that Dr. Sermons had negligently allowed Franklin to continue on the blood pressure medication while she was pregnant.
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Anna Scott was admitted to Jefferson Healthcare to deliver her first child. She was at first attached to a fetal heart monitor, which showed that her baby was healthy. She was then taken off the monitor for a six-hour period until her treating physician performed an artificial rupture of the membranes, after which Scott was then reattached to the fetal heart monitor.

The fetal heart monitor revealed that Scott’s baby had developed a worrisome heart rate pattern of repetitive variable decelerations with intermittent minimal variability.

Several hours later, Scott began to push. Her daughter, Lana, was born almost four hours later in a depressed condition with the umbilical cord wrapped tightly around her neck. Lana required 30 minutes of resuscitation. Lana’s Apgar scores were 3 at one minute and 4 at five minutes.
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The Illinois Appellate Court has ruled a woman may be able to hold the hospital liable for injuries her child sustained during labor and delivery.

The Illinois Appellate Court for the 5th District reversed a trial judge’s decision that the patient should have known the doctor who delivered her twins was independent from the hospital.

The appeals panel wrote that there were still questions as to whether the physician and the hospital made it appear the doctor was an agent of the institution rather than a contractor.
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Baby Doe was born prematurely and spent the first 98 days of her life in a hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit and special care nursery. The day after the baby’s discharge, her mother noticed that she was irritable, grunting, and not eating.

Doe’s mother called the hospital that day and spoke to Nurse Roe, who told the mother that Doe was fine and that she should simply keep her pediatric appointment for the following day.

Four hours after that call, Doe’s parents found Baby Doe turning blue in her crib. She was rushed to a hospital where she later died. An autopsy revealed that Doe’s death resulted from a serious but treatable bacterial infection.
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During the delivery of Baby Doe, a shoulder dystocia was encountered. That is the medical condition in which a fetus in labor and delivery has a shoulder caught on the pelvis of the mother. An obstetrician in this case performed maneuvers to try to resolve the dystocia.

However, Doe suffered a severe brachial plexus injury that necessitated surgery to repair the nerve avulsion. Brachial plexus injury to the child is the result of the push and tug that often takes place in a should dystocia situation during delivery. The baby’s shoulder and arm nerves are stretched such that permanent damage often occurs to the child’s arm.

Unfortunately, the surgery in this case was unsuccessful. Doe now has partially lost the use of his right arm and hand.
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The Supreme Court of Iowa affirmed the judgment of the district court dismissing the plaintiff’s medical malpractice claims against the medical provider defendants, holding that there was no reversible error.

The child involved in this case is identified as T.D., who was born Aug. 31, 2007 at the Henry County Health Center. Dr. James Widner, employed by Family Medicine of Mt. Pleasant P.C., was the physician in charge of T.D.’s prenatal care and delivery.

During labor and delivery, the child’s shoulder became stuck on his mother’s pelvis. The defendant physicians and nurses performed maneuvers to resolve the stuck shoulder. However, the plaintiff child T.D. was born with a permanent nerve injury, brachial plexus, preventing the normal use and function of the child’s left arm. Shoulder dystocia is a birth injury that occurs in cases just like this, when the baby’s shoulder gets stuck inside the mother’s pelvis. This condition is a medical emergency because the infant’s delay in birth may cause severe brain damage or death if not resolved in six minutes or less. Dr. Widner and the nurses performed maneuvers that resolved the shoulder dystocia in one minute and ten seconds. However, T.D. was born with a permanent injury to his left shoulder and arm, a nerve injury referred to as a brachial plexus that prevents normal use and function of his arm. T.D.’s delivery was captured on a 21-minute birth video recorded by T.D.’s aunt.
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