Category: Birth Injuries

Appeal Court Upholds Jury Decision in Med Mal Trial: Goodwin v Olupona

by John McKiggan

Judge or Jury?

In most provinces in Canada, it is possible to have a civil case tried by judge alone or by judge and jury. I discussed this recently in an article on my Halifax Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, Do I have a right to a jury trial in personal injury claims?

The Nova Scotia Supreme Court recently stated in Anderson v. Cyr, a claim arising out of a motor vehicle accident:

Multi-million dollar award to child who suffered birth injury: Court examines compensation for “pain and suffering”

by John McKiggan

Child Claims Millions Due to Birth Injury

An Alberta court recently decided a case involving a child who was permanently injured during her birth. The case A.T.-B. v. Mah contained an interesting analysis of a variety of legal issues that typically arise in medical malpractice claims.

I thought the case was worth writing about because of the judge’s views regarding the plaintiff’s claim for compensation for “pain and suffering.”

Supreme Court of Canada clarifies law for malpractice victims: Ediger v Johnston

by John McKiggan

The Supreme Court of Canada released an important decision for medical malpractice plaintiffs today.

Summary

In Ediger v. Johnston, the plaintiff “C” suffered from brain damage caused during her birth. C now lives with spastic quadriplegia and cerebral palsy. She is tube-fed, confined to a wheel chair and is completely dependent on others for all of her daily needs. She has a significantly reduced life expectancy of 38 years.

“My doctor says my baby has Erb’s Palsy. What does that mean?”

by John McKiggan

I was asked this question the other day by a new mom. As a medical malpractice lawyer in Halifax, I frequently get calls from parents throughout Atlantic Canada whose babies have suffered a birth injury.

Usually they want to know how the injury happened or if the injury was caused by anything the doctors or nurses did during the mom’s labour and delivery. Sometimes they just want someone to explain the medical terms the doctors have used.

Erb’s palsy and Brachial plexus injuries

Court of Appeal Overturns Award to Brain Injured Baby – Ediger v. Johnston

by John McKiggan

The British Columbia Court of Appeal released its reasons last week in the case of Ediger v. Johnston.

The Facts

Cassidy Ediger suffered an acute and severe hypoxia-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) about 20 minutes before her birth. Her injury was caused by a compression of her umbilical cord which cut off oxygen from the placenta to her brain. The asphyxia caused a deceleration in her fetal heart rate which lasted until Cassidy was delivered by emergency caesarean section.

Birth Injuries More Common During Night Shift

by John McKiggan

My colleague, Ches Crosbie recently posted about an American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology report that studied medical charts for more than two millions births in California over a 14 year period. According to the study children born between the hours of 10 PM and 4 AM were 22% more likely to develop cerebral palsy.

Ches suggested:

Hospitals already have issues with staff shortages and fatigued workers, so it makes sense to me that these problems might be worse during the “graveyard shift”.

Doctors Closer to Detecting Pre-Eclampsia Earlier

by John McKiggan

I am currently investigating a medical malpractice claim where my client suffered catastrophic injuries after developing pre-eclampsia so this story caught my eye.

CTV News has reported that an international team of doctors claim to have discovered 14 telltale metabolites that appear in the blood in early pregnancy that signal an increased risk for pre-eclampsia.

The researchers hope the discovery could one day mean a simple, cheap blood test for the life-threatening condition.

Nurse’s Negligence Caused Child’s Brain Injury

by John McKiggan

Nurse Negligent

In a decision released last week, Justice Tausendfreund has ruled that a nurse at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital was negligent and that the nurse’s negligence caused catastrophic brain injuries to a baby, Danny Vuong.

Danny’s mother, Ms. Giang was admitted to St. Joseph’s Hospital on June 12, 2991. Her pregnancy had been normal and uneventful.

Nurses Have a Duty to Ensure Doctors Meet the Standard of Care

by John McKiggan

Nurses Duty to Ensure Appropriate Care

A recent decision from Ontario has found that nurses have a duty to ensure patients receive appropriate care from a responsible physician when faced with a medical emergency.

The court found that the duty to ensure that the patient is seen by a appropriate physician exists even when the patient has already been seen by a resident physician.

$4.5 Million Award for Child Who Suffered Cerebral Palsy Due to Birth Trauma

by John McKiggan

Court Approves Multi-Million Dollar Settlement

The Supreme Court of Nova Scotia has approved a settlement in a medical malpractice case awarding 4.5 million dollars in compensation to a child who suffered cerebral palsy as a result of injuries suffered during his birth.

Very Complex Claim