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Military Hospital VBAC Birth Injury Settles For Millions

Military husband with wife

Fort Campbell Hospital Birth Injury Ends With $15.1M Settlement

On January 10, 2005, Kelly D. Wilson gave birth to her son at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Fast forward to January 31, 2020, and the federal government agrees to award the Wilson and her family $15.1 million in damages to settle a lawsuit over the events that happened that day, fifteen years ago.

According to the lawsuit, when the Army veteran gave birth to her son in 2005, he “suffered a hypoxic-ischemic brain injury prior to delivery, resulting in cerebral palsy and lifelong neurological deficits.” And as a result of the brain injury, is now “wheelchair-bound, non-verbal and has involuntary movements and a seizure disorder.”

The lawsuit presented these facts:

  • During Wilson’s first pregnancy, she suffered from placental insufficiency, a condition where the placenta fails to provide sufficient oxygen to the fetus. As a result, she had to undergo a caesarean section to deliver her child.
  • Less than a year later, Wilson’s second child was born. Having the children so close together significantly increased “the risk of a failed VBAC, which is a vaginal birth after a caesarean.”
  • Due to that known risk factor, the hospital should have performed a caesarean section for Wilson’s second pregnancy.
  • Instead, she was “given standard VBAC counseling and a consent form to sign” during a 2004 OBGYN appointment at Blanchfield.
  • The mother chose to “attempt a VBAC because she wasn’t given the proper information and counseling” about the risks.
  • The incident happened because the hospital failed to “consider Wilson’s prior medical history in managing her prenatal care.”

Judge Aleta A. Trauger of the U.S. Court for the Middle District of Tennessee ultimately determined the military hospital was at fault. As a result, the federal government awarded Wilson and her family $15.1 million in damages to help cover the cost of future medical care, lost earnings, suffering, past loss of enjoyment of life, and permanent impairment.

Military Doctors Can Now Be Held Accountable for Medical Mistakes

This story serves as another example of the need for better communication by physicians. No matter what choice a mother makes, medical professionals must ensure that they abide by reasonable standards of care to ensure the risks of birth injuries will be minimized. And now that the Feres doctrine, a law that made it easier for doctors and nurses who work at military facilities to hide behind medical mistakes, has been appealed perhaps military patients will be provided better care. After all, we know accountability measures do impact the quality of care patients receive.

Request a Free Consultation to Evaluate Your Birth Injury Lawsuit

If you suspect medical negligence may have contributed to a birth-related injury or infant death, please contact Levin & Perconti toll-free at 877-374-1417 in Chicago at (312) 332-2872 for a FREE consultation.

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