$562,500 Settlement for Parents of Stillborn Girl

An obstetrician and nurse, monitoring a patient in labor, failed to recognize that the infant’s heart rate had slowed and assumed the heart rate observed on the fetal monitor strips, which was actually demonstrating the mother’s heart rate, represented a normal fetal heart pattern. In reality, the mom’s uterus had abrupted, causing a lack of blood flow and oxygen to the baby. By the time the labor and delivery team recognized their error, and raced to perform an emergency c-section, the infant had died from lack of oxygen.

In New Jersey in such cases, the parents are not entitled to recover for “wrongful death” as their child was not born alive, and, as a result settled the matter for $562,500.00 for their emotional distress. Michael B. Zerres, a firm partner, represented the family.