Plaintiff, a patient care technician at a suburban hospital who was 21 weeks pregnant, alleged that a patient fell on her and struck her abdomen, resulting in severe pain. She was taken to the ER, where an ultrasound was read to show an open internal os of the cervix, with fluid in the endocervical canal. The codefendant ER doctor alleged that this report was related by a 3:00 a.m. phone call to our client, who was serving as the on call Ob-Gyn.
The patient was admitted to labor and delivery, monitored for 30 minutes, with no evidence of contractions or labor, then discharged home. Our client did not see the patient, and managed the case by phone. She was then seen by her treating Ob-Gyn the next day, who diagnosed preterm labor, and the baby was stillborn two days later. Plaintiff contended that the ER doctor either failed report the abnormality to our client, or that our client failed to appropriately evaluate the patient and offer cerclage and tocolysis.
Our defense was that the abnormality in the ultrasound report was not communicated by the ER to our client, otherwise he would never have discharged the patient, and would have come to the hospital to see the patient. We further defended the case on the basis that none of the available treatments would have prevented the stillbirth of the 21 week fetus.
The jury returned a not guilty verdict against our clients, the Ob-Gyn and his group, and deadlocked as to the ER doctor and his group. Plaintiff requested $2 million in damages.