After a five-day trial, Rich Nagle and Garland Nagy obtained a defense verdict for the defendants.
On February 12, 2007, the mother plaintiff presented to the defendant obstetrician at 26 weeks gestation with complaints of decreased fetal movement and cramping since the previous evening that was occurring every five minutes and lasting two minutes at the time of the appointment. In response, the defendant obstetrician evaluated the patient and, among other things, performed a cervical exam that demonstrated that the mother plaintiff’s cervix was long, closed, and firm. Concluding that the mother plaintiff was not in preterm labor, the defendant obstetrician sent her home with instructions to follow-up in two days. Approximately twelve hours later, the mother plaintiff delivered her son at home in her bathroom. The infant plaintiff developed permanent brain injuries including a right-sided Grade IV intraventricular hemorrhage and periventricular leukomalacia.
Plaintiffs filed their lawsuit in the Circuit Court for the City of Newport News alleging the defendant obstetrician breached the standard of care by failing to diagnose and treat preterm labor during the February 12, 2007 appointment. Plaintiffs also alleged the defendant corporation was liable for the conduct of the defendant obstetrician. The defendants denied the allegations and the case proceeded to trial on August 5, 2013.
Plaintiffs’ liability experts, testified that the defendant obstetrician breached the standard of care by failing to diagnose preterm contractions by either placing the plaintiff mother on a fetal heart monitor or by placing her hands on the plaintiff mother’s abdomen. The plaintiffs’ liability experts, further testified that the defendant obstetrician was required to perform multiple cervical examinations to determine whether the plaintiff mother was experiencing cervical change during an observation period.
Defendants’ liability experts, testified that the defendant obstetrician met the standard of care by performing a cervical examination that allowed her to rule out preterm labor during the appointment. Defendants’ experts further testified that the plaintiff mother’s labor began in the evening hours of February 12, 2007, several hours after her appointment with the defendant obstetrician.
After a five-day trial and deliberation by the jury for one hour and 30 minutes, the jury returned a verdict for the defendants.