Welcoming a new baby, while a joyous and exciting time, is usually pretty exhausting for the mother. Mothers have a recovery period after giving birth, which may vary in the length of time depending on how the birth went and the method of birth that the woman chose. However, most women would not expect to suffer a permanent injury from a birth. And certainly one wouldn't expect to suffer a permanent injury because the nurses and doctors were negligent in their care.
In 2012, Caroline Malatesta was the unfortunate victim of medical malpractice during the birth of her fourth child. The 32-year old decided to give birth at Brookwood Medical Center which is located in Birmingham, Alabama. She decided to use that hospital instead of the hospital she had gone to for the birth of her three previous children because she liked the birthing experience that the hospital was advertising. She also had taken a tour of the birthing facility. She stated that "[s]he then met with her new doctor, who was “very supportive” of her desire to have a natural birth without interventions."
However, she stated that when she came to the hospital to give birth, her experience was completely different than the advertising said it would be. When she arrived, "Malatesta recalls, a nurse ordered her into a bed and onto her back and hooked her up to continuous wired monitoring." Malatesta wanted to use a wireless system and she had been told that she could. She also wanted to use a birthing tub but she was " told her the room could not accommodate one." While in labor, her nurse would not let her move around and instead told her to stay on her back. When Malatesta moved to a more comfortable position for her during her contractions, her water broke. She was on her hands and knees, but says "the nurse physically forc[ed] her onto her back and other nurses join[ed] in." The baby was crowning and Malatesta was trying to move back to the more comfortable kneeling position but was held down by the nurses. She stated that the nurses also physically delayed her son from being born by pressing the baby's head into her vagina.
In addition to the physical restraint, she was given Pitocin without her "knowledge or consent." The nurses managed to delay her labor by six minutes and this left Malatesta with permanent damage. She now suffers from an "excruciating, debilitating nerve injury." The condition is called pudendal neuralgia and causes her "daily pain" that she says is "much worse than labor." She was also diagnosed with PTSD.
In 2014, she filed suit against the hospital for "medical negligence and reckless fraud over the hospital's natural birth advertising campaign." A jury sided with Malatesta in August of 2016 and awarded her $16 million in damages.
If you or a loved one received negligent care or injury from a medical facility, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Luvell L. Glanton today at (615) 244-4511.