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Midwives agree to $5M settlement of wrongful death lawsuit

In June 2008, a young couple arrived at a birthing center ready for the delivery of their baby. Birthing complications arose that necessitated swift and competent action to preserve the health of the infant. Unbelievably, the two midwives overseeing the delivery were not only ill-equipped to handle the complications; they actually obstructed paramedics from attempting to save the life of the infant, who was suffering from cerebral hypoxia.

Midwives Jerusha Goodwin and Coleen Goodwin recently settled a lawsuit against them for the wrongful death of the child. While the agreed-upon sum was $5 million, the couple who lost their infant will recover a far smaller amount; The Goodwins did not carry medical malpractice insurance and are expected to declare bankruptcy.

The two women lost their midwifery licenses last month, after two other infants died at their birthing center. In one of the deaths, a midwife student improperly cut the infant's umbilical cord. In the other fatal birth injury, the infant was born with a dangerously-low heart rate and was unresponsive. Yet the Goodwins didn't call the paramedics for another 11 minutes, demonstrating an indifference to the baby's survival.

While this particular birthing center represents a dangerously low level of care for deliveries, it brings attention to the lax licensing requirements for midwives. While many mothers choose to use a midwife for the birth of their child, it's important to choose carefully. If you or your baby has suffered harm from a negligent midwife, contact an experienced Ohio birth injury lawyer to discuss your legal options.

Source:, "Midwives agree to $5M deal in birthing center lawsuit," John Miller, April 25, 2012

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