Hospital Liable for Failure to Spot Risks in Pregnancy

Publication:The National Law Journal
Attorney(s):Thomas A. Moore
Practice Area(s):Medical Malpractice
Summary:A Manhattan jury awarded $23 million to 12-year-old Judy Martelly, a girl born with severe brain damage due to medical malpractice. Thomas Moore represented the child.

When Nora Martelly, Judy's mother, arrived at the hospital in June 1984, she told the staff that when her water broke it was "discolored." This was a clear sign of fetal distress, Mr. Moore said in the National Law Review article. Ms. Martelly should have been examined immediately by an experienced obstetrician, and the baby should have been delivered by Cesarean section. Instead the baby suffered oxygen deprivation both before her birth and after it, while "an inexperienced resident bungled the resuscitation," said Mr. Moore. "There was a failure to recognize that this was a high-risk labor." The baby was delivered vaginally by a nurse-midwife and was "nearly dead at birth," stated the article. Judy was now a spastic quadriplegic with severe mental retardation and is unable to take care of herself, Mr. Moore said.