Kentucky Injury Lawyers

Jury Finds Physicians Liable in Baby Decapitation Lawsuit

Published on Oct 12, 2011 at 12:20 pm in Medical Malpractice.

The Courier-Journal reports that a jury awarded $1.4 million to a mother who filed suit against two physicians who delivered her premature baby in 2006. During the delivery, one of the physicians struggled to dislodge the baby’s head from the mother’s body. He testified that he tried several different angles before he finally felt the head “give.” When the baby was born, it was decapitated.

The lawsuit also included members of the nursing staff who cared for the mother, as well as the hospital where the incident occurred. One of the key points used by the defense was the fact that the baby would have died no matter what the physicians did, as the mother was only 21 weeks along. The plaintiff’s attorneys contested that the mother was 24 weeks along, which means the baby might have lived had the doctors performed their duties correctly.

The plaintiff’s attorneys alleged that the physicians failed to remove a cerclage from the mother’s cervix, causing the string to act as a noose around the baby’s neck. The cerclage holds the cervix closed and keeps the child in the womb in cases where it is too early for the mother to give birth. One of the physicians testified that he removed the cerclage, as it would have been impossible to deliver the baby with it still in place.

After five hours of deliberation, the jury returned with the $1.4 million verdict against the two physicians, finding one 57 percent liable and the other 43 percent liable. They did not find the hospital or nursing staff liable, and they did not award punitive damages. The plaintiff originally sought $18 million in damages.

Louisville medical malpractice attorney Tad Thomas served as an Assistant Deputy Attorney General for the state of Kentucky, where he oversaw more than 100 lawyers, sworn law enforcement officers, and staff members. After returning to private practice, Tad Thomas decided to focus on personal injury as he enjoys helping clients when they need help the most. He now represents those who have been injured at due to another’s negligence.