Stillbirth/Wrongful Death

Helping Families Who Have Lost A Baby During Childbirth

A stillbirth or the sudden death of a newborn is a life-shattering event. Death is hardly a pleasant subject to contemplate under the best of circumstances, but the sudden, shocking reality of it, juxtaposed with what should have been a joyous event, greatly increases a family's grief. Families suffering such catastrophic loss deserve to know what went wrong, and why.

Crandall & Pera Law's team of devoted attorneys and registered nurses works to help those heartbroken families find answers to their questions. We have helped families throughout Ohio after acts of medical negligence caused them suffering nearly beyond comprehension. More importantly, we provide that help with empathy and compassion, especially throughout the review and analysis of painful events our clients might have preferred to forget.

Stillborn Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Ohio law allows for recovery for the wrongful death of a stillborn child when it was a viable fetus who suffered injury because of medical negligence. In 1985, the Ohio Supreme Court ruling, in Werling v. Sandy, established the legal rights of the unborn and allowed for a wrongful death action for the death of a viable fetus according to Ohio Rev. Code § 2125.01.1.

Plaintiffs in a wrongful death action must be able to prove three things: the death of a human being; that the death was caused by negligence; and that the surviving relatives have suffered emotional and financial injury as a result.

Did Medical Negligence Lead To Wrongful Death?

Fetal death at any time before the 20th week of pregnancy is considered miscarriage. Stillbirth is death occurring afterward the 20-week mark. Tragically, maternal death or fetal injury can occur at nearly every stage of a pregnancy, and in many circumstances, it is preventable. They may also occur during labor, during birth or soon after birth because of complications from C-section hemorrhage and infection.

Stillbirth may be linked to:

  • Unnecessary or negligent induction of labor. Nearly one in every four deliveries in America is induced, and not all inductions are medically necessary or worth the risks of preterm delivery, especially prior to 39 weeks.
  • Improper monitoring of the baby during the pregnancy, and failure to identify life-threatening congenital defects that might have been successfully repaired in utero.
  • Failure to identify fetal distress during labor and delivery, such as that caused by lack of oxygen when the umbilical cord becomes wrapped around the baby's neck.
  • Failure to diagnose pre-eclampsia in the expectant mother. One of the most common causes of pregnancy-related death, pre-eclampsia is a condition of increased maternal blood pressure and decreased kidney function, and often requires delivery by C-section to save the baby's life.
  • Failure to treat bacterial or parasitic infections in the mother, such as Group B Strep (GBS), chorioamnionitis, trichomoniasis or villitis.
  • Failure to notify an older, obese, hypertensive or diabetic mother of her higher risk of birth complications, or the failure to advise her of what steps she must take to minimize the risk of a stillbirth.
  • Failure to detect or adequately monitor placenta previa, a condition in which the placenta is implanted low in the uterus, causing risk of its rupture and late pregnancy loss.
  • Negligent labor and delivery practices. Negligent labor and delivery practices such as misuse of obstetrical forceps and vacuum aspirators.
  • Negligent postpartum care. Negligent postpartum care such as failure to detect maternal hemorrhage, fetal bone injuries or excess bilirubin levels in the newborn.

Nothing can lessen the devastation of losing a child, but Crandall & Pera Law can hold the liable parties accountable for their reckless or careless actions. Depending on the circumstances, you may pursue a legal claim against a doctor, hospital, midwife, nurse, or other responsible party or parties.

Advocating For Families After The Tragic Death Of A Newborn

If you are grieving over the death of a child caused by incompetent maternal medical care, let us advocate on your behalf. We know that we cannot make up for such a heartbreaking loss, but we can, and will, fight for justice on your behalf.

Please call 855-444-6651 or fill out our contact form to reserve a consultation with an Ohio medical malpractice lawyer at one of our offices in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus or one of our other locations.