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Fairfield County, CT

In this medical malpractice matter, the plaintiff mother alleged that the defendant anesthesiologist was negligent in administering an epidural during childbirth. As a result of the defendant’s negligence, the plaintiff suffered permanent damage which has caused permanent leg damage, a cystic lesion, chronic pain, and may result in paralysis. The defendant denied negligence, and disputed the nature and extent of the plaintiff’s injuries and damages.

The 29-year-old female plaintiff was giving birth to her third child on July 31, ________ at the defendant medical center, when the defendant anesthesiologist, who had just concluded a 24-hour shift and was clearly suffering from fatigue, gave her an epidural injection in her back, which was incorrectly placed. The needle contacted the plaintiff’s terminal spinal cord and resulted in a cystic lesion, which has caused her permanent leg damage and chronic pain. The plaintiff brought suit against the defendant doctor alleging negligence. The plaintiff alleged that since the defendant physician was clearly fatigued, he should have called a substitute physician to administer the epidural into the plaintiff’s back. His failure to do so constituted negligence and resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries and damages.

The defendants denied liability, and disputed that there was any deviation from acceptable standards of care. The defendants also disputed causation and the nature and extent of the plaintiff’s injuries and damages. The defendants argued that the hole in the plaintiff’s spine so far in location from where the needle should have been that it could not have been caused by the defendant. The defendant attempted to argue that the condition was congenital condition that the plaintiff had all along, but did not become symptomatic until she gave birth to her third child. The plaintiff countered this argument with testimony from the plaintiff’s expert who maintained that the lesion’s shape and size was consistent with a needle-like injection.

The matter proceeded to trial over a period of four weeks.

At the conclusion of the trial, the jury deliberated for two-and-a-half days and returned its verdict in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendant. The jury awarded the plaintiff the sum of $________ in damages. The verdict consisted of $________ for past pain and suffering; $________ for past loss of enjoyment of life’s activities; $________ for future pain and suffering, and $________ for future loss of enjoyment of life’s activities.

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