Jury Selection Begins in Florida Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Trial

Jury Selection Begins in Florida Medical Malpractice Lawsuit TrialJury selection has commenced in a multi-million dollar medical malpractice lawsuit against Indian River Medical Center in Florida regarding an infant who was born dead to a St. Lucie couple in 2008, but was later resuscitated.

TCPalm reports the child, now 3 years old, has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, while birth-related injuries to mother Melissa Guettler, 39, have caused her to have a hysterectomy. The suit seeks payment for the injuries suffered during birth as well as the "loss of her reproductive organs," according to the family's malpractice attorney.

The complications allegedly arose due to negligence by the hospital staff, including obstetrician Dr. George Fyfee and neonatalogist Dr. Alfonso Miereles. According to the lawsuit, the hospital failed in their duties to exercise "reasonable medical and nursing care," the news source reported.

The trial is expected to last four weeks, during which dozens of witnesses will take the stand including hospital staff and experts from across the country.

The hospital denies that there was any negligence during the birth, which occurred at 48 weeks into her pregnancy, and states that the registered nurse was instructed to perform a normal birth. However, the family claims when things went wrong, the staff failed to act quickly enough.

"She was allowed to labor in the face of fetal distress," the lawsuit stated.

The complications forced Guettler to be sent to the hospital's emergency room, where Patrick Guettler was born dead during an emergency cesarean section. The family alleges that if Patrick had been born just 15 minutes earlier, "everything would be fine."

According to the National Library of Medicine, premature babies have a higher risk of developing cerebral palsy, which occurs when there is a lack of oxygen in the brain.

The disorder can affect several brain and nervous system functions including movement, learning, hearing, seeing and thinking.