What can we do if my wife was pregnant and had an illness that she disclosed to her doctors but it resulted in a C-section because the proper steps were not taken for a natural childbirth?

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What can we do if my wife was pregnant and had an illness that she disclosed to her doctors but it resulted in a C-section because the proper steps were not taken for a natural childbirth?

We were on track for a natural birth we did everything the doctors said to make natural birth easier for my wife. She went in labor and we were informed by the doctor that because of the illness she fully disclosed she would have to have a C-section. The doctor apologized several times and explained to us that if the proper steps were taken a natural childbirth would hold no risk. Me and my wife were devastated and are now struggling with the bill for a C-section that is substantially more expensive than natural birth and we were robbed of that choice by incompetence I want to know our legal options I want the C-section to be paid for to start.

Asked on June 30, 2015 under Malpractice Law, Connecticut

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If, as seems to be the case based on what you write, the C-section was due to some negligence, or carelessness (e.g. lack of preparation) on the doctors' or hospital's part, this may have been malpractice, and you may be entitled to compensation, such as the additional cost of the C-section. However, it may not be worthwhile to pursue this compensation in court:

1) You can't recover for emotional disappointment (e.g. being devastated that you did not have natural child birth), but only for physical injuries and quantifiable monetary costs or losses, like the additional C-section expense.

2) To bring a malpractice case, you *must* have and hire a medical expert witness to examine the circumstances and testify, and such witnesses can cost thousands of dollars (their time for examining records, examining your wife, writing a report, testifying in court, etc.) and you generally can't recove that cost from the other side. This cost could equal or exceed the amount of money you would be entitled to for the C-section cost.

3) Winning is never guaranteed; you could spent money on the case and still lose.

Overall, if you take action, you might put thousands of dollars in costs at risk for the chance to get little, or even no, net gain.


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