Traumatic birth injury occurs when the mother suffers severe injuries during the birthing process. In a recent case involving an Alabama woman who sustained injuries during her 2012 labor and delivery, the jury awarded $16 million in punitive and compensatory damages.
Caroline Malatesta claims she was severely injured during the birth process due to medical negligence and reckless fraud. Instead of the “natural birth” process she wanted, Malatesta was forced to labor on her back and remained hooked to monitors the entire time. Instead of allowing her to walk around and labor on her hands and knees, the on-duty nurse pushed the baby’s head into Malatesta’s vagina until the doctor arrived. This use of force resulted in excruciating pain and the development of a condition called pudendal neuralgia that will likely plague Malatesta for the rest of her life.
“I’m Rarely Totally out of Pain”
“Pain is fatiguing because you spend so much of your energy fighting the pain,” said Malatesta. “I’m rarely totally out of pain. I try to take only the amount of medication that will make it bearable, because otherwise I’ll fall asleep. It’s a daily balance.” Since the 2012 injury, the previously active mother of four now spends much of her day resting or taking baths. Her sex life has also suffered, and the injury has made her unable to have more children. “I have to pick and choose and be very intentional about what I choose to spend my limited amount of energy on,” she remarked.
According to Malatesta’s doctor, her injuries are likely permanent. But she remains hopeful.
“I refuse to say never,” she said. “I’m holding out for a miracle.”
When to Sue for a Traumatic Birth Injury ?
Injuries occur during childbirth, even when no one is at fault. In order to justify bringing a legal claim against another party, as with any injury, the victim must be able to show negligence or reckless behavior on the part of the defendant. This can be an extremely complex process, and the help of a personal injury lawyer with experience in traumatic birth injury cases is crucial to the outcome of your case. You attorney will review medical records, conduct witness interviews, and interview hospital staff.
If it can be shown that the conduct of the medical staff did not meet the accepted standard of care, you likely have a personal injury case on your hands. The compensation for injuries will be directly related to the severity of your injuries. For example, in Ms. Malatesta’s case, the award was significant, but so are her injuries. She will likely require ongoing medical treatment and pain management, and her quality of life has been severely impacted.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Personal Injury Law Firm Serving Boston and the Surrounding Areas
If you have been injured due to the negligence of a medical professional, the legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have extensive experience in these types of cases, and we know how to get you the compensation you deserve. Bringing your new baby home is supposed to be a joyous occasion. When that joy is affected by excruciating pain and constant trips to the doctor, someone should be held accountable. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.