Jury Awards $58.6 million for OB/GYN mistake - page 5

by Turd Ferguson 9,108 Views | 47 Comments

original article located here some of the comments at the bottom of the page are interesting, some are downright stupid. what are your thoughts?... Read More


  1. 4
    Quote from SoldierNurse22
    Good feelings and reasonableness do not buy medical supplies, but neither should a doctor's malpractice insurance in a case like this. Things go wrong with or without the presence of healthcare professionals. Unless patients are willing to take the risk that the doctor's clinical judgment may, on occasion, be wrong, then they shouldn't go to a doctor.
    This. My sister is disabled. My parents paid for her care until she turned 18 and could collect a small amount of SSI. And they're still paying for the majority of her living expenses as SSI isn't the goldmine people might think it is. It's not anybody's fault. Poop happens. Just because there's someone around that is perceived to have a huge bank account, it doesn't mean that they should pay for the poop.
    PeachPie, tablefor9, Turd Ferguson, and 1 other like this.
  2. 3
    Quote from wooh
    Just because there's someone around that is perceived to have a huge bank account, it doesn't mean that they should pay for the poop.
    Exactly, and just because they're perceived to have a huge bank account doesn't mean they do... most doctors don't make as much as people think they do. Add on top of that the debt from school, malpractice insurance for OB's (which rumors to be up to $250,000/year in cities like Miami), and the overhead required to practice as an MD- most doc's aren't quite the money factories that people think they are. If they end up being rewarded the $58.6 million, the doctor won't be the one paying it, the rest of us will. There is just no way an OB is going to make that much money over an entire career.
    Altra, wooh, and tablefor9 like this.
  3. 0
    Quote from steelydanfan
    GUESS?!! Do you actually think that doctors GUESS a patients ailment?

    Medicine is as much an art as a science, as intuitive as it is factual; and sorry to tell you poster; life does not come with guarantees.

    The sickness is NOT the health care practioner's fault. People get sick, they fail, they die.

    Yes, practioners do err, but too often lawsuits are borne of people just not liking the outcome. "WHAAT! I have to pay for diapers, PT, wheelchairs, and home modifications?" Well, I guesss we have to sue!
    Do you, poster, think that doctors always know exactly what is wrong? Yes, I think they guess - based on what several doctors have told me over my long working life and based on what I have observed. Do you think nurses always know exactly what is wrong?

    It's called an educated guess. They run through a list of possible diagnoses, rule out the wrong ones, and pick from those that are left. Many times, doctors are not sure. They might be pretty sure, but they don't know with total certainty. Sometimes they satisfy themselves that it's not life-threatening and then tell the pt it's a virus. They hope, and most times are right, that the pt will recover from whatever is wrong.

    I'm an old hand and I have no illusions about life. I'm not looking for guarantees - gave that up a long, long time ago. There are actually a couple of guarantees - one of them is Murphy's Law - if things can go wrong, they will. And here's Kooky's Law - If Kooky can be misunderstood, he will be. Don't forget death and taxes - those are guarantees, too.

    As for the "sickness" being or not being the doc's fault - well, the jury says it is. We, poor us, do not know who did or did not cause this terrible thing to happen to this innocent babe and his family.

    You can only be the parent of healthy children and can only have normal expenses, as you demonstrate a complete lack of comprehension of how costly it is to care for a disabled for a lifetime- both monetarily and emotionally.

    Long after the parents are gone, after their years of woe and worrying about who will care lovingly for their poor disabled child when they are dead and buried, the child's life will likely go on. He will become institutionalized. he will be at the mercy of strangers, many of whom are wonderful, some of whom are less so (and that's saying it nicely).
    Last edit by Kooky Korky on Jun 9, '11
  4. 1
    And if the MD's fault, then they should pay. If NOT the MD's fault, then they shouldn't pay. Is it expensive? Yes. But just because an MD happened to be in the room one day, doesn't mean that MD should pay for the care.
    Elvish likes this.
  5. 1
    Quote from DoGoodThenGo
    Yes mistakes and accidents do happen, but they mustn't happen too often.

    Then there is the very real question of just how much or if any recompense is required for an infant (since we're on that page currently), harmed or otherwise at delivery.

    After nine months and several hours (or days) of labour, a woman is delivered of a healthy infant who only a few hours into living was rendered brain damaged (cerebal palsy) due to lack of oxygen caused by improper intubation by a nurse. I double dog dare you to be the one who has to march into that mother's (parent's) room and break this news chalking it up to "mistakes and accidents do happen", followed by the old standard "you're still young and can have another....."

    While no one is in favour of running to the courts over each little matter, in the United States at least vast improvements have been made in many areas as the result of a large jury verdict. Sadly that is the only thing some persons listen to, for if the fines/penalties are too low they shall be treated merely as a cost of doing business.

    Lawsuits in open court are probably the only way the public gets to find out just what is going on in many areas, including healthcare/hospitals. Why else would doctors/hospitals quickly insist as part of any settlement of a court case that the records be sealed and all parties bound by a secrecy agreement.

    You double dog dare me, how cute. I didn't state that there was never a reason to sue an MD or hospital, in some cases it is warranted, but someone would have to be a fool not to see how far out of control this has gotten. It isn't even being done for justice, it's all about the big cash payout. Daytime TV is filled with advertisements from attorneys boasting about how thew will "get you payed." It is disgusting.
    Scarlette Wings likes this.
  6. 0
    There are some interesting comments about this case on both sides. Was there a trial transcript somewhere that everyone else had access to? Otherwise how can you make a determination whether or not the award was justified?

    First of all, I'm disappointed that some people are so dismissive of the little boy's injuries. "Oh well poop happens". Really? He has essentially been robbed of a life. Yes he is still breathing but he will never have a chance at the life that so many of us take for granted. What number value can you place on a life? Never mind the very real and financial toll it will cost to care for him especially as he gets older and ESPECIALLY as the parents age or die and are no longer able to provide care for him. What was this guy doing that led to the delay? Was he chatting on his cellphone or surfing the net? I've seen physicians do it while patients waited.

    As for the physician's action, there's no way to determine what happened. Was it simply a poor judgment call? I know for a fact that my OB deliberately waited outside of my room while my nurse did all the work until I crowned. I know this because when one of the nurses walked out of the room, I glimpsed him sitting on a bench waiting. Then he showed up and essentially caught my son as he was delivered. He immediately left afterwords while the nurses again did all the work. If something had gone wrong, you can bet I would have sued his butt. At any rate, I would be hesitant to claim that this case warrants tort reform based solely on the large award without knowing exactly what happened.

    On the other hand, he may have followed professional standards and if so, then it really is too bad that the jury made the determination they did. Also a mistake does not equal negligence. Too many people believe that all bad outcomes are the result of malpractice.
  7. 2
    Quote from SharonH, RN
    There are some interesting comments about this case on both sides. Was there a trial transcript somewhere that everyone else had access to? Otherwise how can you make a determination whether or not the award was justified?

    First of all, I'm disappointed that some people are so dismissive of the little boy's injuries. "Oh well poop happens". Really? He has essentially been robbed of a life. Yes he is still breathing but he will never have a chance at the life that so many of us take for granted. What number value can you place on a life? Never mind the very real and financial toll it will cost to care for him especially as he gets older and ESPECIALLY as the parents age or die and are no longer able to provide care for him. What was this guy doing that led to the delay? Was he chatting on his cellphone or surfing the net? I've seen physicians do it while patients waited.

    As for the physician's action, there's no way to determine what happened. Was it simply a poor judgment call? I know for a fact that my OB deliberately waited outside of my room while my nurse did all the work until I crowned. I know this because when one of the nurses walked out of the room, I glimpsed him sitting on a bench waiting. Then he showed up and essentially caught my son as he was delivered. He immediately left afterwords while the nurses again did all the work. If something had gone wrong, you can bet I would have sued his butt. At any rate, I would be hesitant to claim that this case warrants tort reform based solely on the large award without knowing exactly what happened.

    On the other hand, he may have followed professional standards and if so, then it really is too bad that the jury made the determination they did. Also a mistake does not equal negligence. Too many people believe that all bad outcomes are the result of malpractice.
    I see mixed messages here.

    As you note, without a trial transcript there is no way for us to guess at whether or not there is "fault" in this case.

    But you also use the phrase "robbed of a life". IMO, the use of this term implies some unjustness has occurred, when there may be none.

    I don't think it's "dismissive" to point out that bad things do happen in life without the particular fault of any one or more individuals.

    Maybe I'm jaded by health care industry buzz phrases like "delay of care" ... which too often, IMO, represent unrealistic expectations that all possible interventions are equally magically instantaneously available with the wave of an extra-special magic wand, and physicians are magicians who can always save the day, and that anything less represents some kind of fault of someone somewhere.
    Elvish and wooh like this.
  8. 1
    Quote from Jolie
    I've told this story on AN before, and will tell it again, to help some posters understand that awards in OB can have very little to do with legitimate blame, and very much to do with emotion on the part of the jury.

    My sister has friend who is (was) an OB. She accepted a patient who had just recently moved to town and presented for prenatal care with her 2nd pregnancy. On the first visit, attended by both husband and wife, the OB learned that the couple had a very young child (very short interval between pregnancies) who had been delivered by C-section via a vertical incision. She cautioned them both of the dangers of uterine rupture with so little time for the uterine incision to heal between deliveries and counseled them about the likely need for a repeat C-section prior to the onset of labor to safely deliver this baby.

    The couple balked at this information, refused to provide the OB with records from the previous pregnancy, and were unwilling to seek a second opinion as requested by the OB. She documented very clearly the conversations and teaching at each and every prenatal visit.

    When the patient went into labor, she called the OB, who implored her to come to the hospital. She assured her that she could not and would not attempt to "force" a C-section on her, but wanted to be able to monitor her in a safe environment, where help was immediately available in the event of an emergency. The woman refused, and labored at home, until...you guessed it... she began to experience terrible pain and bleeding.

    She was rushed to the hospital where the OB delivered a dead baby and performed a hysterectomy to save the mother's life.

    The parents sued the OB and won a huge settlement for loss of the baby and loss of future childbearing ability.

    The jury was interviewed and stated, to a member, that they didn't really believe the OB was at fault, but they thought someone ought to pay the price for the couple's loss of their child. (Here's a novel idea...how about the parents!)

    The last I knew, the OB was no longer practicing. I don't know if her insurance company appealed the verdict.
    This has got to be the most terrible thing I have ever heard!!!
    I hate it when I see women not getting proper pre-natal care... Then when things go "wrong" They place all blame anywhere but upon them selves! GRRRR
    azhiker96 likes this.


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