For more information or confidential assistance
Call 800-306-3180

Missouri Parents Accuse OB/GYNs of Negligence

A Missouri couple has filed a birth injury lawsuit against the two OB/GYNs who delivered their son. The parents claim the negligent behavior of the doctors caused their child to be born with debilitating birth defects he will have for the rest of his life.

The medical malpractice lawsuit was filed on Dec. 3, 2014, which was the day before their son’s second birthday. On March 6, 2015 the U.S. Attorney issued a certification indicating that both doctors were acting within their scope of duties. Consequently, the petition was removed to Federal Court. However, the Federal Court dismissed this matter without prejudice for failure to exhaust administrative remedies against the U.S.

On May 27, 2015, the claim was presented to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The defendant did not respond and on Nov. 27, 2015, the claims were deemed denied by operation of law.

Plaintiffs accuse OB/GYNs of negligence

The plaintiffs accuse the two doctors of a number of negligent acts that contributed to their son’s birth defects. They claim one of the OB/GYNs knew the mother was high risk and needed special handling, but failed to provide this level of care. According to the plaintiffs, the physician also failed to order and/or timely place and attach a fetal scalp electrode on the day their son was born.

The parents also claim the doctor failed to timely and adequately monitor for fetal heart rate abnormalities and that she left the hospital without having the ability to personally monitor decelerations and fetal monitor tracing outside of the facility. They accuse her of failing to timely deliver their son and failing to order that oxygen be provided to the mother. They claim she ordered increasing Pitocin dosage and/or failed to timely prevent increasing Pitocin and failed to timely order the discontinuance of Pitocin.

The couple believes she failed to advise the other doctor to immediately perform a C-Section without waiting for her to arrive at the operating room. They also accuse her of failing to timely diagnose and treat the true cord knot in the umbilical cord of the baby by failing to adequately perform a C-Section before the occurrence of serious and irreversible brain damage.

The parents accuse the other OB/GYN of failing to adequately and timely perform a C-Section, despite the fetal distress and profound decelerations and imminent hypoxia of the baby. They claim she failed to properly communicate with the other OB/GYN the severity of the situation with the baby and instead waited for her peer to arrive at the operating room before performing a C-Section to deliver the baby.

Cerebral hypoxia is a condition that occurs when a lack of oxygen flows to the brain. To function properly, the brain requires a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients. In some cases of cerebral hypoxia, only the supply of oxygen is interrupted, but when this occurs during birth, both the oxygen and nutrient supply are stopped. Some brain cells begin to die less than five minute after their oxygen supply is cut off, so this condition can cause severe brain damage very quickly.

Baby suffers permanent brain damage

As a result of his traumatic delivery, the baby suffered permanent brain damage, including hypoxic encephalopathy. The boy has sustained severe gross and fine motor impairment, developmental delays and cognitive impairment. The now three-year-old boy has experienced delays in milestones normal for children in his age group. He has a history of seizures and may continue to suffer from this disorder in the future. All of his disabilities are lasting and permanent in nature.

The boy’s pain is both physical and emotional and will include anxiety and depression over the course of his lifetime, according to the plaintiffs. He has had to undergo medical procedures in the past and will require additional procedures and monitoring in the future, they say. The mother has been forced to quit her job in order to care for the boy on a full-time basis. The parents are suing for up to $15 million in damages.

  1. U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri Central Division, G.G., and through his next friends, Kristy Gatlin and Jason Gatlin

  2. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Cerebral Hypoxia