In March of 2013, Katherine Wagner presented to Carolina Community Maternity Center in South Carolina for her 39 week checkup. At that time, she was experiencing contractions. She was told to “relax, take a walk, and eat some food” according to court documents. Mrs. Wagner did as instructed and returned to a birthing room where the contractions continued for another hour. Upon examination, the midwife could not detect a fetal heartbeat. At that point, Mrs. Wagner’s husband took her to the hospital where the baby died after a cesarean section.
Mr. and Mrs. Wagner have sued Carolina Community Maternity Center alleging that complications necessitated a transfer to “more appropriate health care providers.” In September 2013, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control suspended the Carolina Community Maternity Center’s license as well as those of two midwives who did not consult a physician as required by state law during a difficult birth. The suspension has since been lifted.
Medical providers owe a duty to patients to do things such as monitor, assess, intervene, report, and diagnose appropriately. If critical findings are not reported and timely acted upon, the medical staff may be liable for damages.
Medical malpractice is a difficult area of law as it requires an understanding of both the legal practice and the mechanics of medicine. Abraham Watkins offers a free consultation to anyone wishing to pursue such claims.