Failure to diagnose pregnancy can lead to tragic consequences. Women of child-bearing age, presenting for medical examination with cessation of menstruation or amenorrhea symptoms must be presumed pregnant until this diagnosis is ruled out. Simple in-office tests are available to do so. Blood scans, at a minimum, are standard practice.
But, Domina Law Group pc llo's recently filed medical malpractice case in Lancaster County, Nebraska alleges a Family Practice physician failed to do these things. Specifically, the doctor is charged with having failed to diagnose, or consider, pregnancy as the patient's problem.
The mother, an educated, sophisticated patient, reported her symptoms fully and fairly to her family physician. He knew she had stopped using a birth control prescription because her husband and she wanted to allow nature to take its course and begin a family if matters worked out that way.
Five weeks after visiting the doctor, the young woman became ill. She was taken to a hospital emergency room by her husband. There, she was diagnosed as fully dilated and about to deliver a fetus she did not know she carried. The baby, weighing slightly more than 1 ½ lbs. was taken by Caesarean section. It spent the next four months in neonatal intensive care.
Care costs are astronomical and before 6 months of life, a significant part of the baby's lifetime healthcare benefit has been exhausted. The baby's future course remains uncertain.
David Domina filed suit for the baby's parents. The lawsuit poses a major challenge to Nebraska's medical malpractice statute's caps or limitations on damages. It alleges the law violates a series of constitutional provisions. Nebraska's malpractice law withstood two previous constitutional challenges, but "both opinions from the Supreme Court suggest arguments raised in our Complaint are first impression issues in Nebraska, with a substantial likelihood for success," according to Domina.
Domina said the Complaint "also challenges Nebraska's Physician's Lien Law." In this case, the physician who committed the claimed malpractice is an employee of a healthcare network owned by the hospital where the neonatal intensive care unit was located. The hospital's charges for the baby's care are high. Domina said the lawsuit questions whether a negligent doctor's employer can recover fees for follow-up patient care where the charges exhaust the patient's statutory damages cap. "We do not think the law will permit one to commit a civil wrong, and profit from it by generating business for one's employer," Domina said. Nebraska's Lien Law has not been challenged on similar grounds in any previous case.
Domina Law Group pc llo filed suit for the parents. [Click here for more].
Domina Law Group pc llo is a firm of trial lawyers. We specialize in complex litigation on a national basis. Our lawyers are ethical, aggressive, and committed to providing spirit and vitality to the judicial system and our client’s legal rights.