Virginia Jury sides with family in medical malpractice lawsuit

Virginia Jury sides with family in medical malpractice lawsuitA Roanoke Circuit Court handed over a verdict on Friday, May 18, that found two doctors were to blame in a childbirth injury, and awarded the family compensation for the medical mishap, the Roanoke Times reports.

According to the media outlet, the trial went on for 10 days, and after roughly four hours of deliberation, the jury concluded that Marsha Simpson and her daughter, Marissa, now 10 years old, should receive compensation. The jury found that two New River Valley obstetricians, David Roberts and Jay B. Terry, working for Southwest Virginia Physicians for Women, were negligent.

The Simpson family’s medical malpractice lawyer stated the complaint was filed in response to an incident in 2001 during the birth of Marissa.

“The allegations were that the defendant violated the standard of care in recommending that Marsha Simpson – who was a gestational diabetic – undergo an induction of labor,” Simpson’s attorney said.

In trial, the lawyer presented evidence that showed one doctor chose to perform an unnecessary medical treatment, which included an amniocentesis to determine the health of the baby’s lungs. The lawyer contended that the physician did not discuss the treatment option with Simpson prior to performing it, and did not take note of complications before sending her to another physician.

According to the news source, the second doctor then ordered induced labor without first consulting Simpson. After delivering the order, Simpson was passed off to a family practitioner.

By the time Marissa was born, she had dangerously low blood pressure and had lost nearly half of her blood, while her kidneys and brain tissue suffered severe damage. Since her birth, Marissa has received two kidney transplants, and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Simpson’s lawyer asserted that the decision to induce labor was negligent, and in the face of complications, the doctors could have done more to mitigate the situation.

Medical costs have risen to $1.75 million so far, and expert witnesses in the trial said the costs could top $8 million in the future.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, the decision to induce labor can come with many risks. The baby may flip to a breech position, making the birth process more difficult, while a prolapsed umbilical cord and infection have also been linked to the process.