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Mother Compensated with $3,750,000 for Medical Negligence in her Delivery

Case Overview
  • Our client regularly attended antenatal care throughout the course of her pregnancy.
  • As a result of intrapartum and neonatal asphyxia, the child was born with permanent intellectual and cognitive disabilities.
  • GMP helped the mother to get $3,750,000 settlement for this negligence.

When giving birth, it is reasonable to expect to be treated by medical practitioners with the skills and expertise to manage any complications that may arise based on the mother’s clinical history.

Our client fell pregnant in March 1999 with an estimated delivery date of 20 December 1999. Our client regularly attended antenatal care and the foetal movement and health of the foetus was noted to be satisfactory throughout the course of her pregnancy. On her last antenatal visit, our client was told that she had an unfavourable cervix which was predictive of a difficult and prolonged labour. On this presentation, our client told the midwife staff that she had a history of big babies requiring a caesarean section and a history of untreated epilepsy.

In December 1999, our client enquired if she was to be admitted for induction of labour as she was 7 days overdue and was advised to re-present on Sunday morning. When our client re-presented 9 days post expected date of delivery, she was admitted to hospital for prostaglandin induction of labour at which time her cervix was noted to be closed long and posterior. On the same day, our client’s water broke, and she was transferred to a delivery suite. Our client’s treating doctor, a recent university graduate, performed a vaginal examination and noted the cervix to be fully dilated, the head was 1cm below the ischial spine and was direct occipito-anterior.

The Doctor then proceeded to deliver the baby with a vacuum due to the failure to progress the delivery. It took 4 pulls to deliver the foetal head, no episiotomy was inserted, severe shoulder dystocia was encountered, and a McRobert’s manoeuvre as well as a Rubin’s 1 manoeuvre was applied over a 10-minute interval. Upon birth, the baby required cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the form of external cardiac massage, bag and mask ventilation, and intubation and administration of adrenaline via the endotracheal tube. The baby was then transferred to hospital for urgent neonatal care.

“As a result of intrapartum and neonatal asphyxia, the child is now severely disabled and suffers from Ataxic Cerebral Palsy and Hypoxic Ischaemic Encephalopathy with permanent intellectual and cognitive disability and requires constant care. 

Our Approach

GMP received supportive opinions from experts that our client should not have been booked in for an induction of labour on a Sunday morning when there was a lack of senior practitioners present. Where there was a risk of shoulder dystocia, a senior practitioner should have been present during induction and delivery of the baby. Our experts also opined that the manoeuvres used by the Doctor to deliver the baby were unreasonable in the circumstances of shoulder dystocia and there was a delay in administering adequate resuscitation efforts when the baby was born.

As a firm that has a large team that practices exclusively in medical negligence and personal injury cases, we understand how to maximise compensation and have the skills and experience to achieve that. If you, a family member, or a friend have been a victim of a medical mistake, feel free to contact Gerard Malouf & Partners on 1800 004 878 to speak to one of our experienced medical negligence lawyers

The Result

Our client agreed to settlement monies of $3,750,000 to compensate for this negligence.

Frequently Asked Questions

More Information

Negligence is a failure to exercise the care that another in the same position would prudently exercise. The harm caused by negligence is considered to be due to carelessness, rather than a specific intent or determination to cause harm.

While negligence can include misconduct in a variety of circumstances, malpractice is reserved for professionals who fall grossly short of their obligations — and harm others in the process. As a result, malpractice is often called “professional negligence”. If a licensed professional (such as a doctor, lawyer, or accountant) fails to provide the accepted standard of care and subsequently causes harm to the plaintiff, this form of negligence may be known as malpractice.

Medical malpractice is specifically used in reference to medical workers who have committed acts of negligence.

Demonstrating that a doctor fell short of their duty of care can be a challenging process. While most doctors try their best to correctly diagnose conditions and provide timely medical treatment, they can’t always be right. In every state, protections are in place to shield practitioners from some litigation. These give practitioners peace of mind on the job and protect hospitals that are doing their best with limited resources. However, these laws also set the bar for receiving compensation incredibly high.

Overall, to win a favorable judgment, you must be able to prove Duty, Breach and Damages.

If you have been injured or an existing condition has got worse following a medical procedure, or even just a visit to the doctor, then you may have been the victim of medical negligence and you may be eligible to make medical negligence claims against the professional who caused your injury.

If you can first show that you have suffered harm, and secondly, that a medical professional failed in their duty of care towards you then you may be entitled to compensation.


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About Us
Gerard Malouf & Partners have provided friendly, experienced legal advice to communities across Australia for over 35 years. Our Personal Injury Lawyers have taken on ten’s of thousands of cases and we are proud to have won billions of dollars for our clients.
Meet the diverse and dynamic team of compensation lawyers and supporting staff that have made this all happen below. Our multi-lingual team can discuss your claims in Arabic, Assyrian, Turkish, Greek, Italian, French, Serbian, Croatian, Armenian, Mandarin, Hindi, Punjabi or Malayalam.
Meet the diverse and dynamic team of compensation lawyers and supporting staff that have made this all happen below. Our multi-lingual team can discuss your claims in Arabic, Assyrian, Turkish, Greek, Italian, French, Serbian, Croatian, Armenian, Mandarin, Hindi, Punjabi or Malayalam.

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