Mother Awarded Half a Million Dollars After Experiencing Medical Negligence While Giving Birth.
Jodie had experienced two natural births and had no reason for concern about her third. When she and her husband Dale went in for the delivery, they weren’t expecting the experience to leave them shellshocked and vulnerable.
With both of her previous children, Jodie’s experience had been smooth. It was a shock when her medical team realised that her baby was stuck in the birth canal and his heart rate was spiking, meaning he wasn’t getting enough oxygen.
Her doctor used forceps to help with the delivery, instead of opting for an emergency caesarean. “I had no choice. I didn’t want this, but nobody listened to me,” Jodie describes.
It was an incredibly distressing situation. While Jodie’s son was delivered safely and without injury, Jodie was wounded by the forceps. She suffered pelvic tearing, which caused substantial blood loss and incontinence. She lost control of her bladder and bowel, and developed anxiety and post-natal depression.
The use of forceps is controversial and requires a high level of skill and training. It’s not standard practice to inform a patient of the risks before a birth. “I’ve had three kids, and nobody even mentioned that this was a possibility. I was completely in the dark.”
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Dale took six months off to look after Jodie and their three children while she was bed-ridden for several weeks. It put a huge amount of strain on their family as they navigated having one parent incapacitated with a newborn, as well as their two young daughters.
One of Dale’s friends had made a workers compensation claim with Law Partners, and he recommended that the couple get in touch. “The whole team at Law Partners were amazing,” Jodie says. “James and his team went above and beyond to help us.”
Their solicitor James got to know Jodie and Dale carefully so that he could fully understand the impact of Jodie’s injuries on her life and family. He was able to present a strong case, and Jodie was awarded $525,000 to assist with her recovery and compensate her for economic loss and pain and suffering while she was unable to work.
Jodie has been recovering slowly. She’s been able to use some of the settlement money to pay for home care assistance to help with her two younger children now that Dale is back at work, and their oldest has started school.
Despite always planning on having four children, the experience has left Jodie and Dale unwilling to go through the process again. “I feel like so many things have been taken from me,” she explains. “I’m just grateful that I can focus on my family now.”
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