Minnesota Couple Files Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Over Son’s Cerebral Palsy

birth injury

The parents of a now-15-month-old boy whose difficult birth resulted in him having spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy have filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against Regions Hospital and HealthPartners, alleging that the hospital’s medical staff failed to adhere to the normal standard of care during labor and delivery.

Their suit is seeking compensation for the damages that their son and family suffered, including actual medical and care costs past, present and future and emotional pain and suffering.

According to the suit filed by Leotha Pinkney and John Richardson, what began as a “relatively uncomplicated pregnancy” ended on November 8th of 2016 when she was admitted to the hospital and informed the staff that despite her previous cesarean delivery, she wanted to attempt a vaginal delivery. Her water had already broken and it was just seven days prior to her due date, and the staff agreed and began her on a Pitocin drip to induce labor.

Staff’s Failure to Advise Cesarean Blamed for Child’s Cerebral Palsy

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cerebral palsy can be caused by lack of oxygen during the birth process, a complication that medical professionals are responsible for preventing and responding to.

This is largely done by responding to data supplied by fetal heart rate monitors, but during in the Leotha Pinkney’s 20-hour labor the staff continued to administer Pitocin despite seeing that the baby’s heart rate was fluctuating dramatically.

Even after the mother showed signs of a bacterial infection called Chorioamnionitis they did not suggest that she change her plan from a vaginal delivery to a cesarean delivery — instead they administered antibiotics and allowed the labor to continue, though they also requested a special care nursery staff come to the delivery suite.

It was only after another three hours of labor that Pinckney gave birth to her son, but the boy had suffered extended periods without oxygen, and his brain injuries resulted in his cerebral palsy, microcephaly, seizures and other neurological issues.

His injuries are considered permanent and disabling. According to the suit, had the hospital’s medical staff responded properly and advised Pinkney of the risks of vaginal delivery, she would have opted for the cesarean and her son would not have suffered his birth injury.

Author: Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an independent writer, editor, and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of interest include health and fitness, medical research, and the law.