Medical Malpractice Case Report: $2.8 Million for Negligence in Treating Postpartum Hypertension

Firm partner Terry L. Wade of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, L.L.P. secured a medical malpractice settlement of $2.8 million for the family of a forty-year-old woman for negligence in treating acute postpartum hypertension a few days after delivering her second child. Read the following Minnesota Association for Justice (MAJ) Minnesota Case Report, Vol.97, No 1, Feb. 2010.

Selected Results*

(Excerpts taken with permission from Minnesota Trial Lawyer Association's (MTLA) "Minnesota Case Reports")

Forty-year-old "C" developed hypertension a few days after delivering her second child.  Postpartum acute hypertension requires prompt monitoring and treatment to prevent catastrophic complications.  "C's" hypertension was not properly monitored or treated in keeping with accepted standards of medical practice.  As a result of the inadequate treatment, she died. "C" was a teacher and leaves a husband and two young daughters. 

Economic losses to the family were approximately $2 million according to the plaintiff's economist and $775,000 according to defendants' economists.  The case was aggressively defended with both Minnesota experts and a Harvard neurologist generally taking the position that the woman had a condition for which there is no recognized, standard treatment and that treatment would not have altered the outcome in any event.  The case was complicated by the fact that "C" was treated by numerous physicians over a two-week period, most of whom were implicated in substandard care according to plaintiff's experts.  Named defendants included four obstetricians, an internist, a neurologist, and three separate practice groups.  While there was ample basis for claims against each named defendant, persuading a jury that all of these physicians were negligent and contributed to the cause of death was daunting.

The case was settled at mediation for $2.8 million.

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