Jury Awards Twins $13 Million in Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
A set of 10-year-old twins won $13.2 million last week for damages suffered in utero as a result of an obstetrician’s failure to diagnose and treat their mother’s urinary tract infection.
A Pennsylvania federal jury deliberated for three days before issuing their verdict, which held Dr. Morgan T. Smith, Jr., liable for the brain damage suffered by Alec and Samantha Lindstrom.
The jury exonerated Dr. Philip G. Sih and Abington Memorial Hospital.
Lisa Lindstrom, the mother of the twins, had complained to her doctors of a fever and a possible urinary tract infection. Dr. Sih advised her to drink fluids, take Tylenol, and call back in a couple of hours.
After her doctors later failed to respond to her repeated phone calls, Lindstrom ended up in the hospital in premature labor. Two days after her first phone call about her fever, she delivered the twins.
One expert report presented at the trial blamed the doctors for not properly diagnosing and treating the mother’s infection. Allowing the fetuses to remain in their mother’s infected uterus increased their risk for cerebral palsy, the report concluded.
Another expert report offered by a pediatric neurologist also attributed the twin’s extensive brain damage to their mother’s untreated infection.
The twins both suffer from cerebral palsy, mental retardation, speech and language abnormalities, and behavioral problems. The pediatric neurologist said that the twins’ medical problems would require life-long treatment.
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