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Settlement reached in obstetrical malpractice claim

Preeclampsia is a dangerous condition that many pregnant women here in Oregon and elsewhere develop. The condition is characterized by high blood pressure, swelling in the extremities and protein in the urine, along with other symptoms. If a pregnant woman develops preeclampsia, it can lead to seizures and death for either or both the mother and the child. If a doctor fails to diagnose the condition and appropriate measures are not taken to protect the mother and her unborn child, it could constitute obstetrical malpractice.

In 2009, an out-of-state woman was 33.4 weeks along and carrying twins. Her doctors failed to adequately monitor her for preeclampsia, and she had a seizure. During the seizure, she suffered placental abruption, which means that the placenta tore away from her uterus. On March 2, 2009, her twins were stillborn.

The woman filed a lawsuit in 2011 against the Pennsylvania hospital, two doctors and the physicians group. It was recently settled for $4.25 million. The defendants asked the judge to seal the details of the settlement in order to keep them private. The judge denied that request, ruling that the public had the right to know.

Obstetrical malpractice cases can be particularly heartbreaking since they involve an infant. Oregon families who suffer losses such as this woman did might benefit from seeking advice regarding their legal rights. No amount of money will bring back a loved one or fix a permanent disability, but it might help with the financial losses incurred and prevent another family from going through the same experience.

Source: pennlive.com, "Huge $4.25 million medical malpractice settlement as Pa. mom loses twins", John Luciew, Aug. 26, 2016

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