Pennsylvania Woman Victorious in Medical Malpractice Suit

It was finally decided that the family had the right to use a malpractice lawyer and to sue the hospital which had allegedly caused the injuries.A Middletown, Pennsylvania woman was awarded more than $500,000 in a medical malpractice suit by a Bucks County Jury, according to the Bucks County Courier Times.

The lawsuit was brought against the Lower Bucks Hospital and two nurses after complications arose following the cesarean-section delivery for Erin Webster, the news source reported.

Nurses who were present for the birth had reportedly made the mistake of leaving a sponge in her abdomen during the procedure. The Judge ruled in favor of Webster due to the mistake by the medical staff, as the four-day trial ended with a unanimous verdict, the Times reported.

The suit contended that the two nurses, Megan Blatcher and Laura Tedesco, acted negligently when they had failed to remove a laparotomy sponge that was used in the 2004 surgery. Jury members ruled that they had failed to perform a sponge count after the procedure was over, leading to the complications, according to the news source.

Although the two nurses were found guilty, the doctor who performed the procedure was not held liable due to his lack of complicity. His innocence was held by the jury because of his reliance on the training of the nurses that would normally ensure that they did an accurate sponge count, reported The Times.

The lawsuit arose when Webster was in pain for nearly two months following the birth, and this continued discomfort was found to be caused by the lap sponge that had adhered to part of her bowel. This section of her abdomen had to be removed, and the lawsuit was filed shortly thereafter, the news source reported.

Lawsuits of this nature can be kept private due to the sensitivity that can come with medical suits. While some may agree with this lack of disclosure, an Iowa judge ruled against confidentiality in a similar case, according to the Des Moines Register.

Polk County District Judge Eliza Ovrom approved a $475,000 settlement in a malpractice lawsuit that was brought on behalf of a Des Moines individual who had died following a medical procedure, the news source reported.

Judge Ovrom felt that the confidentiality agreement that was introduced by the malpractice lawyers and representation for the state was in direct violation of Iowa law. This ruling came after the state tightened its policies concerning the transparency of the courts, as all settlements, including both civil court and administrative law, had to be open to the public, reported the Register.

This decision may affect the state of malpractice law within Iowa, mirroring a similar situation regarding establishing new precedents that arose in Florida.

The Supreme Court of Florida ruled in favor of a girl and her family who were the victims of birth-related injuries that were deemed to be caused by malpractice, according to American Medical News.

Tristan Bennet was delivered via a cesarean section in Jacksonville, Florida, following a car accident that involved her pregnant mother. The baby was rescued by St. Vincent’s Medical Center and then was transferred to the newborn nursery, the news source reported.

After the initial care, the hospital was found to have neglected several necessary tests that led to birth complications. These errors caused the family of the young child to bring a suit against the hospital, reported the news source.

Initially the case was thought to be under the jurisdiction of the state’s no-fault compensation program, but then a ruling by a higher court determined that the family could sue the hospital. After this ruling was then reversed by another judicial body, the Supreme Court of Florida became involved, according to the news source.

It was finally decided that the family had the right to use a malpractice lawyer and to sue the hospital which had allegedly caused the injuries, the publication reported.