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Jury Awards $4 Million for Preterm Tragedy


A Georgia jury recently awarded a couple more than $4 million in damages over the death of their infant son during a premature birthing injury. With only a short deliberation of 2 ½ hours, the jurors concluded that the medical staff failed to provide adequate treatment and did not act in a reasonable manner to prevent the mother from going into premature labor, which they determined to cause the death of the infant.

According to court papers, the mother entered the hospital for an evaluation after experiencing discharge. An ultrasound additionally revealed that her cervix was abnormally shortened. The parents claimed that, after her admission, the medical staff failed to properly monitor and treat the situation. As a result, the mother went into early labor at around 23 weeks of gestation. According to reports, it was revealed at trial that the expectant mother had a history of miscarriages, as well as a surgical history that led to the shortened cervix. The plaintiffs argued that this information should have alerted the doctor to the need for a heightened sense of urgency and monitoring.

A Cerclage Procedure

Part of the plaintiff’s complaint centered on a medical procedure that could possibly prevent the premature labor. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), premature births affected one in every nine U.S. births in 2012. It is defined as birth prior to 37 weeks of gestation. The potential harm of preterm birth is significant due to the cycle of development that occurs in the womb. When infants are born prematurely, they may suffer from a variety of health problems, including:

  • Impaired hearing of sight
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Delayed developmental milestones
  • Feeding difficulties

A cervical cerclage is a medical procedure that is used to prevent preterm birth and loss of pregnancy. According to the Mayo Clinic, a cerclage involves the use of stitches to close the cervix opening. The process is completed vaginally or through the abdomen. The stitches are generally removed around the 37th week of pregnancy, allowing labor to proceed. Medical professionals reportedly use the cerclage when there is a risk that the mother’s cervix will open prematurely.

The family in the Georgia case reportedly argued that the doctor’s erred in not attempting to place a cerclage on her shortened cervix. Their birth injury lawsuit resulted in $3.5 million for the death of the infant, along with $200,000 for the baby’s pain and suffering. The jury also awarded $600,000 for the pain and suffering of the mother.

Pregnancy is a joyous process and the birth of a child is supposed to bring a family endless happiness. When injuries occur due to the negligence of medical professionals, families are left to deal with the physical, emotional pain. In addition, these circumstances carry substantial monetary burdens.

If you or your baby was injured during a premature delivery, a capable attorney can guide you through the requirements of litigation. Contact the experienced birth injury attorneys of Levin & Perconti today at (877) 374-1417 for a free consultation.