Beebe and O'Neil

Lawsuit: Connecticut doctor responsible for fetal death

While many surgeries in Connecticut and around the country are successful, some have unintended consequences. An injury due to negligence or malpractice can cause a lifetime of pain. Unfortunately, one local couple is grieving their child due to what they claim was a grave physician error.

In 2011, a woman went to a doctor in Connecticut to have a birth control device removed. According to a lawsuit, the physician did not make sure that the woman was not pregnant before starting the procedure. Then, while trying to take out the intrauterine device, the doctor allegedly ruptured a fetal membrane.

The fetus was 22 weeks old at the time and was born alive. However, the fetus passed away a few hours later. The couple filed a lawsuit alleging medical malpractice and wrongful death. The suit prompted a debate regarding whether or not a fetus deemed unable to survive outside the womb could be at the center of a wrongful death claim.

A judge permitted the case to move forward. The case was settled on undisclosed terms before going to trial. According to reports, the same doctor failed to perform a cesarean section in a timely fashion, resulting in a child born with cerebral palsy. That case led to a $38.5 million award, which is one of the largest such awards Connecticut has ever seen.

Anytime someone suspects that negligence has led to an injury, action should be taken. People who have questions about these matters should consult with an attorney.

Source: Hartford Courant, “Connecticut Fetal Death Lawsuit Settled,” Jan. 4, 2016

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