Responsible Parties In Birth Injury Cases

When a birth injury impacts the life of a child and family, a number of parties may be legally responsible. Doctors, nurses, midwives and hospitals are some of the common defendants in an Ohio birth injury lawsuit. In most cases, multiple parties share liability for errors that harm the infant or mother.

We discuss the potentially liable parties in birth injury suits below. If you'd like to speak with an experienced Ohio birth injury attorney, call The Donahey Law Firm at 866-918-5886 or email us.

Physicians

Many Ohio mothers receive health care and childbirth coordinated under multiple doctors, especially when the pregnancy is considered high risk. Obstetricians, surgeons and anesthesiologists are physicians commonly involved in gestation and birth. One or more of these doctors may be liable in a birth injury claim, depending on the circumstances of each case.

To hold a doctor liable for a birth injury in Ohio, the plaintiff must prove that the physician's care was below the standard met by other Ohio doctors with similar training and experience.

The negligent actions of other medical professionals under the doctor's control - including nurses, residents and interns - may render the supervising physician liable under the legal theory of respondeat superior.

Nurses

A nurse can be held liable for negligence that harms a mother or infant. Common negligent acts by nurses in birth injury lawsuits include:

  • Failing to monitor the patient and infant
  • Failing to notify the doctor of significant changes in a patient's condition
  • Medication errors

Most Ohio birth injury cases involve issues regarding the nurse's independent liability in light of the theory of respondeat superior. This issue involves two considerations: Was the nurse acting under the direction of the physician, and does the nurse carry an independent medical malpractice insurance policy? A skilled Ohio medical malpractice attorney can help you sort through these complicated issues.

Hospitals

Ohio hospitals owe a duty to patients at their facilities. When a jury decides whether a hospital is liable for a birth injury, it considers whether the hospital exercised the standard of care that other Ohio hospitals would have met in same or similar circumstances.

Ohio law allows hospitals to be held vicariously liable for the acts of its employees, including doctors and nurses. Other legal theories - such as negligent training or supervision - present other avenues for holding an Ohio hospital liable for birth injuries.

Midwives

The popularity of midwives is increasing; this is mostly a good thing, but some midwives deliver babies in birthing centers far away from health care facilities - especially in rural parts of Ohio. Midwives usually aren't doctors and typically aren't prepared to handle serious pregnancy or birthing complications. If a midwife doesn't have a physician present for the birth, then complications can quickly turn into a matter of life or death.

Lately, there have been several lawsuits in the headlines for wrongful death or serious injury at birthing centers unaffiliated with hospitals. In many of these cases, the midwife failed to recognize or act upon serious complications until it was too late.

Discuss With An Experienced Ohio Birth Injury Lawyer

The attorneys at The Donahey Law Firm are available to discuss your birth injury claim. We offer free consultations, so call 866-918-5886 or email us to schedule a confidential discussion with an experienced Ohio medical malpractice lawyer.