Defense Verdict in Suffolk County

HPM&B partner Robin Dolsky, assisted by senior associate Ana Vizzo, successfully represented an obstetrician in a claim involving neurologically-impaired infant plaintiffs who were delivered at 26 weeks’ gestation.  It was alleged that HPM&B’s client should have monitored the plaintiff-mother more closely because she was at high risk for preterm delivery (she was carrying twins, a smoker, and over 35 years old), and had he done so, he would have been able to intervene at an earlier stage of labor with tocolytic therapy and prolonged the pregnancy. 

Ms. Dolsky successfully argued to the jury that our client acted appropriately in managing the pregnancy, extending it to 26 weeks from 24 ½ weeks, which was critical to the twins’ survival.  She emphasized that preterm labor due to bleeding, as was the case here, cannot be prevented, but merely delayed long enough by the use of tocolytics to allow the administration of corticosteroids to promote fetal lung maturity, and antibiotic prophylaxis for possible neonatal group B strep.  It was also noted that “twin B” had a chromosomal abnormality (which was detected during antenatal testing) which most likely explained why she was much more neurologically impaired than her sister.

The jury reported its verdict in favor of the defense on seven liability interrogatories in less than an hour.