Jury awards $1.4 million for traumatic birth injury

October 15, 2011
By Brassel, Alexander & Rice, LLC on October 15, 2011 10:44 AM |

A Jefferson County, Kentucky Jury awarded $1.4 million in damages to a woman, whose premature baby was decapitated during delivery at a local hospital in 2006.

Our Baltimore Annapolis Maryland Medical Malpractice Attorneys have years of experience representing Plaintiffs who have been affected by traumatic birth injuries.

The jury found the two doctors who conducted the procedure, Dr. Joseph Bilotta and Dr. William Koontz, liable for the full extent of the awarded damages. Meanwhile, the hospital and nurses involved in the case were held not liable.

All parties to the suit acknowledged that it was an extremely rare occurrence that the fetus was decapitated during birth. The doctors' attorney argued to the jury that the baby would not have survived regardless of the doctors and nurses actions, because the pregnancy was only about 21 weeks in duration.

The Plaintiff's attorney, however, argued that the mother was about 24 weeks into the pregnancy, where babies are potentially viable.

The Plaintiffs argued that the doctors failed to remove a cerclage, a device resembling a string, which is a surgical tool used to keep the Plaintiff's cervix closed. When the fetus was being delivered, the string acted "as a noose" which caused the decapitation.

The doctor acknowledged that he initially tried to deliver the baby with the cerclage intact, but eventually removed it. But the allegation was that it was removed too late in the procedure.

The $1.4 million the jury awarded was to compensate the mother, Micheatria Donelson, for her pain and suffering. Her attorneys argued that she is now depressed, has panic attacks and is unable to sleep more than a few hours each night.

On a slightly less somber note, she is now the mother of a two-year-old daughter.

Traumatic birth injuries can have a life changing impact both on the victims and their families. Unfortunately for this mother, the baby did not survive. But in cases where the baby does survive, these cases involve planning for a lifetime of medical care.

If you or a loved one has been affected by a traumatic birth injury due to another's negligence, contact the Brassel, Alexander & Rice for a free consultation.