Birthing blunder

If you were rushed to the hospital in an ambulance as you were on the verge of giving birth, you’d expect to be attended to right away, right? That’s what Rebecca Fielding thought. She and her husband, Enso Martinez, were hoping for a home birth, but complications resulted in an ambulance ride to the hospital. Upon her arrival, Fielding had to wait two hours before doctors performed an emergency Caesarean section on her. Her baby was born with a number of disabilities, and the couple believes they were caused by the delay in surgery. The couple filed a medical malpractice suit and were recently awarded $55 million by a jury.

The malpractice suit was against Johns Hopkins Hospital. The hospital plans to appeal. A Maryland state cap on damages will lessen the reward to a total of $29.6 million. Divided up, the $55 million award consisted of $25 million for future medical expenses for the child, Enzo, $4 million for future lost wages, and $26 million for pain and suffering.

The couple contended that Enzo’s mental and physical disabilities were a result of a lack of oxygen to the brain, and that this loss of oxygen occurred as Fielding waited for surgery. The hospital argued that the lack of oxygen took place at the couple’s home during the home birth attempt.