July 31, 2009Couple awarded $1.85M in death of newborn

A jury has awarded $1.85 million in a lawsuit filed by a Maryland couple whose newborn son died just two days after suffering a birth injury during delivery. The jury ruled that Benjamin Ketterman’s death resulted from a doctor’s improper decision to use vacuum extraction to deliver the baby, according to an attorney representing the couple.

During the delivery process, the child’s head became wedged in the birth canal—a condition known as cephalopelvic disproportion. The physician in charge of the delivery, Dr. Leonard Bienkowski, used vacuum extraction to deliver the child. Two days later, the baby died as a result of bleeding between the skull and the scalp caused by complications from the delivery.

According to the couple’s birth injury attorney, Dr. Bienkowski failed to inform the child’s parents about the dangers of vacuum extraction before using the technique during the delivery process. The parents say that they would have waited for a Cesarean section had they known the risks of the procedure.

Jurors in the lawsuit awarded the couple a total of $1.85 million for medical bills, funeral expenses, mental anguish and the child’s pain and suffering. The couple now lives in West Virginia with their two-year-old daughter.

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