Woman Files Lawsuit After Doctors Force Her to Have C-Section and Perforate Her Bladder July 12, 2014.

Often, a birth injury lawsuit will be filed because doctors neglected to perform a C-section in a timely manner. For instance, in 2010, Johns Hopkins doctors left an expectant mother sitting in a hospital for two hours as they waited for blood test results. Her baby was born with cerebral palsy because he’d been deprived of oxygen, according to a CBS News affiliate.

Two years later, jurors awarded the family a record-setting $55 million verdict, which broke down to "$25 million for future medical expenses and a life-care plan, $4 million for future lost wages, and $26 million for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering," the family’s medical malpractice attorney told baltimoresun.com. Due to tort reform laws, the $26 million was reduced to $665,000.

In a strange twist, May 16, 2014, nytimes.com reported that a woman is suing her doctors for forcing her to undergo a C-section, and she may not be the last if statistics are any indication.

"Across the country, nearly 33 percent of births, or almost 1.3 million, were by cesarean section in 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The World Health Organization recommends that the rate should not be higher than 10 to 15 percent," the article stated. "The increase in the number of C-sections has been attributed to a rise in high-risk pregnancies; a desire by doctors and mothers to schedule their deliveries; and fears of malpractice lawsuits should the baby be injured during a normal delivery, which typically takes far longer than a cesarean. Obstetricians pay some of the highest malpractice insurance premiums of any medical specialty because of the frequency of birth-related lawsuits."

But as writer Anemona Hartocollis noted, health officials have warned that a C-section is more likely to cause injury or death. In the case of 35-year-old Yinat Dray’s lawsuit, doctors cut her bladder during the surgery. Her medical malpractice claim also alleges that doctors forced her to undergo a procedure she did not want.

"The hospital record leaves little question that the operation was conducted against her will," Hartocollis wrote. Dr. James J. Ducey, director of maternal and fetal medicine, handwrote, "I have decided to override her refusal to have a C-section," and added that the hospital’s attorney agreed with his decision.

Hartocollis consulted Dr. Howard Minkoff, chairman of obstetrics at another facility, who said a pregnant woman has the right to refuse a C-section, even if it puts the baby’s life in jeopardy.

"I don’t have a right to put a knife in your belly ever," he said.

Contact Mellino Law Firm’s Birth Injury Lawyers with Your C-Section Questions

If you have questions about a C-section that caused a disability, attorney Chris Mellino invites you to contact our Cleveland office for a free consultation. You may also download Chris’ free, easy-to-read guide, Your Ohio Medical Malpractice Questions Answered, read testimonials, and learn about previous case results.