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Settlement reached in birth injury case against midwives

A couple has finally found some measure of justice against two midwives who improperly delivered their child. In the course of birthing the baby, the midwives' medical negligence caused the infant to suffer permanent brain damage, forcing this North Carolina family to live out a scenario no family should have to endure. Recently, the family was awarded $5 million in an out-of-court settlement.

In 2008, the midwives, a mother and daughter pair, were performing the delivery when the baby became deprived of oxygen. The midwife and her daughter intentionally sought to avoid trial for their negligent care, so they settled. A legal representative for the baby's family indicated that a jury would likely have ruled in favor of parents and could have issued a larger reward. The midwives did not carry malpractice insurance, so they will probably file for bankruptcy, which means that they may never pay all of the $5 million.

Tragically, this is not the only childbirth to have gone awry for these two midwives. According to state health officials, the midwives' licenses were suspended after three babies died under their watch. In one horrifying incident, the midwives prevented paramedics from entering the mother's room for a total of four minutes after they arrived and the baby passed away. The three deaths occurred between October 2010 and August 2011, but their licenses were not suspended until March of this year.

The midwives had a long history of acting negligently. There is no understandable reason why they were practicing for so long with such a long history of birth injuries and fatalities. Midwives are tasked with ensuring the success of one of the most important and fragile medical tasks. Parents deserve the peace of mind that their medical providers will act cautiously and do everything to ensure their child is brought into this world safely.

Source: The Republic, "Idaho midwives reach $5M deal in malpractice case at Meridian birthing center," John Miller, April 23, 2012

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