Summary Judgment Dismissal


HPM&B successfully obtained summary judgment dismissal of all claims against a major Hudson Valley Hospital, Health Care System, and named defendant Obstetrician/Gynecologist in Supreme Court, Dutchess County.


Plaintiff claimed negligent management of the labor and delivery of the 20-year old plaintiff mother, which allegedly caused significant injuries to both the mother and the infant-plaintiff. Specifically, plaintiff claimed the defendants were negligent in performing an episiotomy and vacuum-assisted delivery of the infant-plaintiff, rather than a Cesarean Section, which caused the plaintiff-mother to suffer a 4th degree perineal laceration and recurrent rectovaginal fistula and the infant-plaintiff to suffer torticollis.


With the support of expert witnesses in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Neonatology and the Vice President of the Hospital, HPM&B established that the defendants did not depart from the standard of care in their management of the subject labor and delivery. HPM&B established that the infant did not exhibit any signs of fetal distress such that would necessitate immediate delivery until the infant was already in the birth canal, by which time a Cesarean Section was not appropriate.


Further, the defendants acted appropriately in performing an episiotomy and vacuum-assisted delivery to save the infant-plaintiff’s life and prevent significant neurological damage to the infant. HPM&B established that no negligence on the part of defendants caused or contributed to any injuries to the plaintiffs. As a result, the team was able to secure the dismissal of all claims in a potentially high exposure case.