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Record $24,100,00 Verdict – Birth Trauma (Cerebral Palsy) – Medical Malpractice (Seminole County, FL)

What happens when a doctor decides to deliver a baby vaginally because he thinks it should be done that way even in the face of risks?  What about when the labor and deliver nurses even suggest to him that he should remove the baby by cesarean section (surgically)? That’s what happened to our client in a hospital in Central Florida.

During pregnancy, the mother of our client advised the doctor that her prior pregnancy resulted in a cesarean section delivery because of cephalopelvic disproportion (baby’s head is too large for the birth canal).  This was known to the doctor.  He knew that this woman had previously had her baby delivered surgically, leaving a scar across the uterus. This made a vaginal delivery riskier.  Such a delivery can still be done, but it must be carefully monitored.  The first sign of problem should result in a c-section delivery for the safety of the baby and the mother.

This young obstetrician decided to induce labor in this woman for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean section). The induced labor lasted over a day, and the baby showed signs of distress. Instead of taking her for a c-section, which could have been done in minutes, he continued to induce her vaginal labor.  When the baby became stuck in the birth canal, he used vacuum extraction. Then he ordered the nurses to perform fundal pressure, a technique which is prohibited because it puts pressure on the top of the uterus.

The woman’s uterus ruptured, causing hypoxia ( complete loss of oxygen) to the child and nearly killing the mother.  The baby was resuscitated, but not before she suffered irreversible cerebral palsy. This child had what many experts considered the worst cerebral palsy they had ever seen. She was unable to speak, walk or use her arms.  She was barely able to control one arm.  Through a litigation that lasted 8 years, John Elliott Leighton represented the Shoaf family and Raven Shoaf. In June 2005, Mr. Leighton obtained the largest jury verdict in Seminole County history, a $24,100,000 award for  this girl and her parents. Shoaf v. Geiling.

The verdict was in addition to a confidential settlement obtained from the hospital and another physician, and allows our client to obtain the medical and rehabilitative care she so desperately needed.

http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/settlements/03735/obstetrician_malpractice.html

Disclaimer: The information about past verdicts and settlements of the firm’s cases are based on the unique facts of each case. These amounts reflect the gross recovery in each case (before attorneys fees, expenses and medical costs are deducted). Although these results were obtained by our firm, they may not indicate the success or value of any other case. By clicking on Verdicts and Settlements you are acknowledging that each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits. The information contained here has not been reviewed or approved by The Florida Bar.

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