Defense Verdict in Queens County on Behalf of an Obstetrician

On May 27, 2015, Vincent L. Gallo obtained a defense verdict on behalf of an obstetrician in a medical malpractice action venued in Queens County, New York.  Plaintiff alleged that the infant-plaintiff’s catastrophic brain damage was caused by the medical negligence of the defendant obstetrician. 

The plaintiff-mother had presented to the hospital at approximately 37 weeks gestation following a fall on her abdomen, hands and knees.  At the hospital, the defendant obstetrician evaluated the patient and ordered a non-stress test and biophysical profile.  Following an evaluation, the plaintiff-mother was discharged and referred back to her private obstetrician.  Approximately one week later, the child was born severely anemic, missing approximately 75% of her blood volume, leading to severe brain damage and  necessitating 24-hour-per-day care. 

Plaintiff alleged that the defendant obstetrician should have admitted the mother to the hospital following the fall for further evaluation given the presence of numerous contractions on the non-stress test.  Plaintiff further claimed that the contraction pattern was indicative of a possible placental abruption and/or maternal-fetal hemorrhage due to abdominal trauma as a result of the fall. 

Mr. Gallo established during trial that the plaintiff-mother was appropriately evaluated and that both the results of a non-stress test and biophysical profile were reassuring in nature.  The defendants also introduced testimony from an obstetrical expert who opined that the contraction pattern was consistent with a 37-week gestation, and, as such, it was appropriate to discharge the mother and refer her back to her primary obstetrician.  The defense also established that the defendant obstetrician spoke to the obstetricians associated with the patient’s private obstetrical group and appropriately advised those physicians that the mother should be further evaluated for a delayed placental abruption.

After a five-week trial during which plaintiff was represented by one of the top plaintiffs’ law firms in New York, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant obstetrician, rejecting plaintiff’s attorney’s suggestion that the jury award his client $20 million.