According to a class-action lawsuit recently filed in federal court, more than 1,300 premature babies were enrolled in a study that exposed them to blindness, brain injury and wrongful death. According to the complaint, the infants' parents weren't sufficiently warned of the risks and side effects when asked if their babies could participate.
Various public citizen groups launched an attack on the study after discovering that the parental consent forms failed to state all potential risks, including brain damage and death. The class-action birth injury lawsuit soon followed.
The class states that it will seek more than $5 million in damages from the 23 hospitals participating in the study. The study's purpose was to determine how much oxygen a prematurely-born infant should receive.
Some people in the medical community are defending the study, arguing that the study was ethical and that participating infants enjoyed a lower infant-mortality rate than premature babies not enrolled in the study.
This lawsuit is medically complicated, but it can be viewed as a contract dispute, too. Simply put, were the participating infants put at risk of suffering undisclosed health effects? If the answer is yes, then it's tough to see how this study could not be considered unconscionable, regardless of the baby-mortality rate.
If your child suffered serious injury or death from medical malpractice, contact an experienced Ohio birth injury attorney to discuss your legal options.
Source: Birmingham Business Journal, "Lawsuit Filed Over UAB-Led Study Involving Premature Babies," April 19, 2013