The verdict included $10 million for wrongful death, $5 million for pain and suffering, and over $1 million for loss of income. The jury found obstetrician Patricia Vigder to be 70% negligent, Paula Youngdahl 25% negligent and Heritage Valley Health System Inc. 5% negligent…law.com, Western Pa. Jury Awards Couple $16M Verdict in Med Mal Case, sAleeza Furman, Mar 2023
According to pretrial documents, then-39-year-old Latham suffered from several health complications during the pregnancy, which was considered high risk. In the days leading up to the stillbirth, Latham complained of swelling in her extremities and underwent testing over two hospital visits.
During the second visit, the plaintiffs said, testing showed fetal tachycardia, but Latham’s doctor failed to order further bloodwork or urinalysis. Four days later, an ultrasound revealed no fetal movement or heartbeat and Latham underwent a delivery of the nonviable fetus via C-section.
The plaintiffs claimed the stillbirth occurred because Latham’s doctors failed to diagnose her severe preeclampsia. But the defendants contended that some conditions the plaintiffs cited as causing the stillbirth was unsupported.