One lawsuit, filed against a doctor in Ohio, alleges the defendant made decisions during the birth of Haley Cobb that resulted in Haley being born with cerebral palsy. According to the plaintiff, Dr. Tara Shipman ignored information from a fetal heart monitor that should have convinced the doctor that Haley's mother, Debra, required a cesarean section.
The Cobb family alleged that the failure to perform a cesarean section resulted in the fetus not receiving enough oxygen at birth and, ultimately, caused her cerebral palsy. According to the lawsuit, Debra was a candidate for cesarean section because Haley was her first birth and was overdue and Debra was over the age of 35.
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According to the Trib Today (10/20/2010), a lawyer for Dr. Shipman said information on the fetal heart monitor did not indicate a brain injury and in fact showed normal fluctuations, leading the doctor to believe Haley was fine. The lawyer further argued that the injury to Haley's brain could not have been caused by a lack of oxygen but was instead caused by an injury that would have taken place prior to Haley's birth.
A jury unanimously found that Dr. Shipman's negligence was the cause of Haley's cerebral palsy and awarded $13.9 million to the Cobb family—the largest settlement in a malpractice case in Trumbull County.